IAC Earnings: Search Revenues Up, But $1 Billion Impairment Charges

Despite loss, they beat the Street.

IAC, the parent company of Ask.com, today reported its Q4 2009 earnings. While revenues in their Search division were up 3%, IAC had to report a loss of $1 billion. The loss is related to impairment charges, which has to do with the reduction in value of a company’s goodwill.

Even so, IAC beat expectations by a $0.03. Wall Street is reacting favorably. IAC stock is up 4.21% at the time of this post.

Besides Ask.com, IAC’s Search division includes CitySearch, Dictionary.com, and Fun Web Products. CitySearch’s revenue was down due to lower display ad revenue.

IAC will be holding a conference call this morning at 11am EST. Last time they held a call, CEO Barry Diller threw casual observers into a tizzy when he raised the possibility of selling Ask.com. However, buying and selling companies is Diller’s m.o. It wasn’t the first time Diller had mentioned it, but most reacted as if it was a novel concept. No deal was in the works, but it didn’t stop everyone and their grandma from speculating that Microsoft would buy Ask.com.

It should be interesting to see if any similar drama unfolds today.

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