jumped Tuesday after the company forecast a rosy outlook for 2002.
USA, the Barry Diller-led operation that's contributing its entertainment assets to a joint venture controlled by
, said the strongest of the remaining operations would post 34% growth in 2002 in terms of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a common cash flow yardstick for media companies. The company expects revenue from these particular businesses to grow 24%.
USA's shares advanced 8.5% Tuesday, rising $2.36 to $30.
The forecast from USA, which is slated to be renamed USA Interactive, speaks to its growing optimism about whether its strategy of assembling various electronic commerce businesses will pay off, even in the face of a flat economic environment. The company controls the HSN home shopping network,
Hotel Reservations Network
But the numbers also represent more than a few pro formalities, so to speak. Included in the $4.1 billion revenue and the $648 million EBITDA that USA leads with are results from online travel agency
, a stake in which USA will acquire in a deal yet pending.
Meanwhile, the headlined forecast excludes not only the entertainment businesses that USA is in the process of shedding, but also other businesses that are staying, but which USA labels "Emerging Businesses." One of these emerging businesses is the negative-EBITDA CitySearch, a 6-year-old operation with which the former Ticketmaster Online merged more than three years ago. But the EBITDA-positive Match.com online personals service, which Ticketmaster acquired a year later, is deemed an "operating business."