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IAC's Pieces Come Together

For a long time, Barry Diller was sounding like the Rodney Dangerfield of the Internet sector. His labor of love, IAC/Interactive (IACI), got no respect from Wall Street.

A few years back, IAC emerged from a period of lumpy earnings and -- to the world beyond Diller at least -- from an uncertain strategy on how to unify fragmented units and post consistent growth in both revenue and profit.

But investors shrugged.

While Google (GOOG - Get Report) has captured the attention of the press and the lion's share of the capital that investors are sinking into growth-driven Internet stocks, IAC was languishing as if it were just another Internet wannabe, treading water in an uncertain market for tech stocks.

Diller has consistently shown that Wall Street is taking too dim a view of its earnings performance. According to Thomson First Call, IAC has beaten the Street for five straight quarters, with positive surprises ranging from 6% to 24% above analysts' consensus.

The Dangerfield act didn't fit Diller, though. As fun as he is to watch, he'd never make it on the comedy circuit. He'd never have pulled off the role of the self-made Al Czervik in Caddyshack.

Good thing, then, that IAC is finally getting some of the respect it deserves. After being stuck in a holding pattern near the $25 mark, IAC began a rally this summer, moving from a low of $23.62 in July to $37.39 in recent trading Tuesday.
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