While $218 million in writedowns caught attention at Barry Diller's e-commerce giant
Additionally, IAC indicated that its Hotels.com lodging business, which disappointed investors with its performance in prior 2004 quarters, is in the midst of a fundamental repositioning. In place of its tradition of presenting itself to consumers as a source for discounted hotel stays -- a strategy that's increasingly difficult to follow through on given the challenges of competition and inventory acquisition -- Hotels.com is now in the process of emphasizing its role as a trusted, objective adviser for travelers in the market for a hotel room.
"A purely price-based positioning no longer makes sense," IAC Travel CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts on a conference call Wednesday. Positioning Hotels.com as a hotels expert, on the other hand, is "powerful and ownable," he said.While outsiders noted that IAC's core nontravel business -- the HSN home shopping operation -- performed strongly, Wednesday's glimpse of the travel business apparently has investors still waiting and seeing before they express definitive confidence in the long-term growth and profitability of the operations. IAC's shares dropped $1.42, or nearly 6%, to trade at $22.58. "The issue is that