IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), the operator of websites such as Match.com and Ask.com, rose the most in five months after a surge in Internet queries on its sites helped second-quarter profit beat estimates.
The shares gained 6 percent to a record $51.18 at the close in New York. The New York-based company’s stock has climbed 20 percent this year.
The company, founded by billionaire Barry Diller, saw revenue from its search business climb 46 percent to $348.8 million. Investors have been intent on the company expanding in that market, where Ask.com plays a small role compared with Google Inc. (GOOG), said Victor Anthony, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets Inc. in New York.
“It’s extremely important,” Anthony said before the results were released. “They’re seeing more traffic from people who are looking for an alternative to Google.”
Excluding some items, earnings rose to 86 cents a share from 62 cents a year earlier, IAC said today in a statement. Analysts had projected 71 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue climbed 40 percent to $680.6 million.
Second-quarter net income rose 2.1 percent to $43.3 million, or 47 cents, from $42.4 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier. The company also reported a 53 percent rise in online- dating revenue, with Match.com and related sites posting sales of $178.4 million.
Website queries rose 38 percent to 7.26 billion, while paid subscribers to dating sites increased 45 percent to 2.79 million. IAC’s ServiceMagic business, which helps users find contractors, also had gains.
In its media unit, IAC recently gained a controlling stake in Newsweek/Daily Beast Co., a company formed last year from the merger of an online startup and Newsweek magazine. IAC owned half of the company until the trust of late billionaire Sidney Harman stopped making contributions, diluting its stake.
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