Revenue: $5.29 billion
Profits: $384 million
A lot has changed at USA Interactive over the past year — including its name.
The Barry Diller-controlled firm — formerly known as USA Networks — was transformed from a media and technology conglom to a pure-play commerce venture in one fell swoop in December, when it sold its cable television operations to French media giant Vivendi Universal for a whopping $10 billion.
As part of that deal, Diller went to Viv U to run the entertainment division called Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which includes the film, music and newly acquired TV units.
Diller has not lost interest in USAI. He remains CEO of the newly streamlined company and continues to evangelize about its collection of on- and offline direct sales businesses, which have performed well.
USAI’s properties include TV-based retailer the Home Shopping Network, which reaches more than 75 million homes nationwide and has a large online component. The company also holds majority stakes in Ticketmaster, which sells nearly 90 million tickets to entertainment and sports events every year; online travel firm Expedia.com; and Web-reservation service Hotel.com.
That portfolio paid handsome dividends in the latest quarter, when USAI said cash flow swelled 45% from a year earlier, and raised its financial targets for the rest of the year. USAI also ended the quarter with a solid balance sheet, boasting more than $4 billion in cash on hand.
Still, USAI’s performance on Wall Street has been decidedly mediocre. The stock now trades around $21, about on par with 12 months ago .