IAC/InterActiveCorp's (IACI) travel business is on a journey, but Wall Street is increasingly unsure about its final destination.While $218 million in writedowns caught attention at Barry Diller's e-commerce giant
Piper Jaffray's Safa Rashtchy, who has an outperform rating on IAC, wrote before the call that the major appeal of IAC's stock was its low valuation -- a valuation he hoped would be more "relevant" if the company's business stabilized. "So far the results are not suggesting that," wrote Rashtchy, while saying he would withhold final judgment until after the call. "We do note the expected spin off of IAC travel is likely to unlock some of the conglomerate discount and may be a catalyst for the stock, if the travel segment at least stabilizes," he wrote. Looking forward, Khosrowshahi said he expected the travel business -- of which Expedia is the flagship brand -- will show first-quarter 2005 percentage revenue growth in the teens, and earnings growth in the high single digits. For the full year, the company says travel revenue growth will be in the high teens, and bottom-line growth will be in the low to mid-teens. For HSN, the company is expecting revenue growth in the high single digits and bottom-line growth in the mid-teens. HSN's international operations are expected to show bottom-line growth in the neighborhood of 20%, similar to their 2004 bottom-line performance.