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IAC/InterActive Swings to Huge Loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- IAC/InterActive Corp. (IACI) swung a second-quarter loss but nonetheless managed to beat Wall Street estimates.

The Internet conglomerate posted a loss of $421.6 million, or $1.51 a share, in the second quarter, dinged by a $300 million impairment charge for its catalog business, Cornerstone. That compares to earnings of $94.6 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding certain items, IAC would have earned 35 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations for 31 cents a share.

Revenue in the second quarter grew 7% to $1.6 billion from $1.49 billion a year ago, in line with Wall Street estimates.

Shares of IAC were down 1.7% to $17.65 in afternoon trading.

The company reported for the last time its results as a conglomerate and expects to post future results as five separate companies: HSN, Ticketmaster, Tree.com (formerly Lending Tree), Interval, and the new IAC, which includes Ask.com, Match.com, Evite and Citysearch.

Chief Executive Barry Diller, who earlier this year had been embroiled in a now-resolved legal battle with Liberty Media (LINTA)over the spin-offs, was not clear on when the break-up would occur except to say it would happen soon. He spent much time on Wednesday's conference call discussing the merits of each individual company, specifically the new IAC, which he will head.

Diller pointed to the strength of Ask.com since renewing its partnership with Google (GOOG), through which it outsources its online search ads.

He added that the strategy for Ask.com in the future will have more to do with increasing the frequency of visits and retention of its users than trying to drive one-time spikes in search queries.

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