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IAC reported Q3 revenue of $1.51 billion, up 7.4 percent from last year’s $1.41 billion. Net income slipped 4.2 percent to $71.8 million from $74.9 million, although earnings per share stayed flat at $.24, owing to a reduction in shares outstanding. Some highlights:
— Media & Advertising: This business, which includes Ask, CitySearch and Evite saw revenue growth of 40 percent to $189.8 million, making it by far the company’s best performer. The company cited an increase in search queries, particularly syndicated search, as well as higher revenue per query. It also claimed strong performance at its Fun Web Products business. Operarting income for the unit swung to $15.4 million from a loss of $2.1 million in the year-ago period.
— Transactions: Revenue slipped 1 percent to $402.6 million, although this masks a mixed bag of results. While Ticketmaster revenue grew 13 percent to $301.3 million, business at LendingTree plummeted 41 percent to $61 million.
— Match.com: Revenues hit $89.1 million, up 11 percent year-over-year.
Conference Call: Despite the growth in IAC’s Media & Advertising business, Ask.com remains a concern, particularly as the company has invested so much into promoting the site. Despite a few questions attempting to suss out information about the site, management didn’t delve too deep into specifics on the call. EVP & CFO Douglas R. Lebda: (from the transcript) “On the Ask.com site, I mentioned that we are definitely very pleased with Ask.com. We are pleased with the growth in queries. We are pleased with the product and the infrastructure, we love the interface and next up is the infrastructure, as I mentioned.”
— Promoting Ask.com: Lebda: “Just in terms of the overall though, our Q3 spend was much less than it has been in prior quarters. However, with that, we