In its first report since a Delaware court win affirming chairman and CEO Barry Diller's authority, IAC (NSDQ: IACI) announced Q1 revenue of $1.6 billion an 8 percent increase from $1.49 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net income, however, slipped 13 percent to $52.8 million ($.18 per share) from $60.7 million ($.20 per share). Earnings were hit by income decline at HSNwhich is seen as a possible bargaining chip in its attempt to completely extricate itself from John Malone and Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA). Op income in that unit fell 42 percent to $20.2 million. On the other hand, revenue growth at 'New IAC', as it would be called post-spin, was up 22 percent, with its op loss slimming to $33 million from $39 million. Some highlights:
-- At New IAC, media and advertising revenue grew 28 percent to $215.5 million, while Match.com rose 10 percent to $90.5 million. The growth in ad revenue was partly attributed to the company's renewed partnership with Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which it said contributed to higher revenue per query on Ask.com. Total queries declined due to a decrease in marketingso fewer Ask.com ads on TV, which is something analysts had been wanting to see go.
-- Ticketmaster revenue grew 15 percent to $349 million, but profit decline 21 percent, which the company blamed on higher technology and royalty costs.
-- No surprise at LendingTree, as the unit continues to be hard hit by the economy. Revenue fell 38 percent, and the unit's loss deepened to $8.7 million from a loss of $7.8 million.
Bottom line: In the statement, CEO Barry Diller said the quarter's results demonstrate: "it couldn't be clearer that we are on the right course in separating IAC into 5 distinct public entities." Certainly, now that the company introduced the notion of the spin, it's hard to imagine what business these disparate units have being under the same roof.
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By Joseph Weisenthal