The comings and goings of various subsidiaries led to a 24% decline in
third-quarter earnings from a year ago. Adjusted earnings wiped out estimates because of a blowout performance in its lending unit.
Barry Diller's Internet conglomerate earned $69.5 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $92.7 million, or 24 cents a share, last year. The latest quarter included income from discontinued operations of $33.1 million, compared with $58.2 million a year ago.
Adjusted to exclude $84.7 million of noncash compensation amortization and $50.2 million of intangibles amortization, among other things, InterActiveCorp earned $114.6 million, or 32 cents a share, in the quarter. On that basis, analysts had been forecasting earnings of 26 cents a share.
At the operating income before amortization level, IAC's corporate and other expense rose 17% in the quarter because of the transaction expenses and higher noncash compensation related to the spinoff of Expedia. Noncash compensation at two other recent acquisitions, Cornerstone and Ask Jeeves, also boosted the expense line.
Revenue rose 55% from a year ago to $1.48 billion, about $80 million ahead of estimates. The improvement reflected a 47% rise in retailing revenue to $749.5 million, a 59% jump in services revenue to $486.2 million, and a 17% rise in membership and subscriptions revenue to $162.8 million.
The acquisition of Cornerstone Brands in April drove the gain in retailing. The sharp rise in services revenue was a function of lending, where sales rose 258% to $142.8 million, and to a lesser extent ticketing, where sales rose 25% to $227.5 million.
"The significantly higher revenue and profit generated from the loans LendingTree is closing in its own name and improved conversion of customer traffic into revenue-generating transactions benefited Lending's results," IAC said. "Refinance mortgages performed strongly and increased as a percent of revenue from the prior year period, while revenue from purchase and home equity loans also increased.
"Lending profits grew faster than revenue due primarily to lower marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue, offset partially by lower gross margins as a percentage of revenue due to the higher costs related to originating, funding and closing loans."