Investors looking for a moderately priced Internet stock with a diverse revenue base may want to take a closer look at InterActiveCorp
Shareholders are relying on the continued astute management of CEO Barry Diller, a media mogul who has been remarkably adroit at integrating newly acquired companies. While the brisk pace of these acquisitions has had somewhat of a dilutive effect on earnings per share, it has also generated eye-popping growth rates in its core business lines -- triple digits in many cases.
The parent company may not yet be a household name, but many of its wholly owned subsidiaries are. Do the names Expedia, Hotels.com, Match.com, LendingTree.com, Ticketmaster, and the Home Shopping Network ring a bell? These are just a handful of the units under the InterActiveCorp umbrella.
Most notably, InterActiveCorp has established a dominant position in the explosive online travel industry. Expedia is pulling away from rivals Travelocity, Sabre Holdings'
Personal dating service Match.com is another success story. The popular site holds a commanding market share in the fast-growing world of online dating, though, Yahoo!
Other business units, including Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network, are also gaining ground. Ticketmaster is the world's largest sports and entertainment ticket distribution network, with over 95 million tickets sold annually from 3,500 retail outlets. And the Home Shopping Network rakes in over $2 billion annually by broadcasting non-stop shopping programming to over 136 million homes worldwide.
What does all this add up to? A transaction-driven media company that survived the dot-com collapse and last year, post record revenues of $6.3 billion, a 38% increase. More importantly, these gains are filtering to the bottom line, as earnings per share are forecast to reach $0.90 in 2004 and $1.18 in 2005. With a clean balance sheet and $4.4 billion in cash to fuel future operations, InterActiveCorp is well positioned for future growth. Though Barry Diller is currently embroiled in a contractual dispute concerning the sale of Vivendi's
With a proven leader at the helm, a relatively cheap P/E ratio of 27 based on fiscal year 2004 earnings, and a consensus targeted earnings growth rate in the high 20% range, InterActiveCorp investors can sleep easy at night -- or at least stay up late and watch the Home Shopping Network.
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Motley Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter is considering a home equity line of credit to cover his wife's online shopping bills. He owns none of the stocks mentioned above.