New media giant IAC (NASDAQ:IACI) is on a bad streak. The company posted a quarterly profit of $0.15 a share this morning -- or adjusted earnings of $0.18 a share -- before a series of charges and a big gain on the sale of its stake in a Japanese shopping channel. Wall Street was looking for net income to clock in at $0.20 a share.

Analysts are used to aiming too high. IAC has come up short on the bottom-line guesstimates in each of the five past quarters. Revenue also came up short of expectations, falling by 7% to $351 million. Operating income before amortization spiked higher during the quarter.

One of the revenue sinkholes was its flagship Ask.com search engine. There were fewer search queries on the site following its October relaunch. IAC is also moving away from network revenue, scaling back on distributed search, sponsored listings and toolbars. That's not a negative, really, since it places the focus on growing higher-margin revenue at its proprietary content sites.

IAC is realizing that Ask.com will never be Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). It may also be conceding that it will never even be Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) or Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Live.com. There is no harm in that. Despite the overall revenue dip, some of its properties like contractor-referral hub ServiceMagic are gaining traction even in this recessionary climate.

This doesn't mean that Ask.com can't get back on a growth track. The site is making news today, inking a deal with Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC). The partnership with the company behind the popular Norton line of antivirus programs will help deliver safer search results to IAC's search engine. Kudos on the timing, as the announcement comes just as Google is being dogged by the media for a human error that led to the entire Internet flagged as malware last week.

All of this may not make it any less frustrating for investors. When IAC split into five different companies -- sending off appendages like ticketing heavy Ticketmaster (NASDAQ:TKTM) and real estate and lending referral specialist Tree.com (NASDAQ:TREE) to carve out stand-alone lives -- the new media parent was supposed to be a leaner, faster company.

IAC is definitely sleeker, but now shareholders need to see the company growing on all fronts.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story, though he is a freelance contributor to IAC's Citysearch. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.