Barry Diller's IAC Beats Wall Street Estimates With Fourth-Quarter Financials

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UPDATED: The stock hits a 52-week high as revenue at the online company rose 32 percent, with adjusted net income more than doubling, but IAC also reported an impairment charge for the Newsweek Daily Beast joint venture.

NEW YORK - Barry Diller's IAC reported stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter on Wednesday.

The online company said its profit amounted to $48.8 million in the latest period, down 44 percent from the year-ago quarter because of one-time gains recorded a year earlier. But adjusted earnings rose 150 percent to $67.4 million.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 32 percent to $596.9 million, which IAC said marked a company record.

IAC's stock hit a 52-week high of $44.96 on Wednesday. As of 2:30pm ET, the stock was up 10.1 percent at $47.41.

IAC houses such content producers as Ben Silverman's Electus and CollegeHumor, as well as the Newsweek Daily Beast joint venture, for which the company reported $9.6 million in losses for the latest quarter, of which $5.7 million were related to an impairment charge for goodwill and intangible assets. Companies take such impairment charges to adjust for a decline in the value of assets.

IAC's media and other unit, which includes Electus, CollegeHumor, production firm Notional and others, reported an operating loss of $3.0 million, well down from the year-ago loss of $37.9 million. Revenue in the unit rose 8 percent to $72.4 million. Electus was among the key contributors to revenue growth in the period.

Chairman Diller on a conference call lauded his company for reporting consistent growth in recent quarters and congratulated his management team led by CEO Greg Blatt. "I am really very proud" of the consistent performance," he said. "Our ability to be attributable to a group of extremely talented managers."

He also mentioned Electus for having made "incredible progress" since its launch and working on its first broadcast primetime show, as well as CollegeHumor for working on its first movie.

IAC on Wednesday also said that it made accounting errors revolving around a deferred income tax liability in 2002 when it exited its traditional media business. It corrected some financial statements of the past in a regulatory filing, but said the mistakes didn’t affect earnings.

Twitter: @georgszalai