Scattered IAC Financial Results Earn Applause

    November 5, 2008

Ask may have lost the interest of a lot of people in the search industry, but its parent company, IAC, is still catching investors’ eyes.  IAC’s third quarter results – the first it’s published since spinning off some businesses – represent a curious mixture of ups and downs.

Let’s start with the most obvious "up" – the company’s stock price.  IAC managed to gain 3.25 percent today, even as the Dow went down by 5.05 percent and the Nasdaq sunk 5.53 percent.  This sort of thing tends to indicate that some other stuff went right, of course.

So Rick Aristotle Munarriz addresses various issues by writing, "Worrywarts may point to the $0.11-a-share deficit, but that figure is weighed down by $20.8 million in spinoff expenses, and an even bigger accounting hit for the early extinguishment of debt."

Then, "Revenue fell sharply from what the conglomerate generated a year ago, but it’s actually a 10% improvement to $369.3 million when you count just the remaining pieces of the company."

As for the subject on which this article started, Ask experienced some success internationally, but saw a decline in U.S. queries.  The partnership with Google seems to be working out reasonably well, and no sale plans appear to be on the table.  IAC gave little else in the way of guidance.