UPDATE 3-IAC profit beats Wall Street view; shares rise
* Q2 adj EPS $0.62 vs Wall St view $0.40
* Q2 rev up 23 percent
* Shares up as much as 16 pct
* Board authorizes expanded share buyback (Adds Chairman, analyst)
By Yinka Adegoke
NEW YORK, July 27 (Reuters) - Billionaire Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI.O) posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, helped by strong growth at its search and online personals businesses.
Shares of the online media holding company rose as much as 16 percent as it also said its board had authorized an expansion of its share buyback program.
"We see a tremendous amount of runway ahead," Diller said on a call with analysts pointing to years of steady investment paying off in the quarters ahead.
Diller, who stepped down as chief executive last December, was bullish about his company's long-term prospects. "We're in the best shape we've ever been. That's a big statement for me," said Diller -- who remains as chairman of the board.
IAC, which owns search site Ask.com and Dictionary.com, posted a second-quarter profit of 62 cents a share after excluding special items. Analysts on average expected 40 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue, including subscriptions at IAC's online personals sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com, rose 23 percent to $485.4 million. Analysts had forecast $463.4 million.
The company posted growth of 28 percent at its search business and 20 percent at its Match business, which together represent more than 75 percent of its revenue.
"This is good solid revenue growth and good cost discipline by the management team," said Colin Gillis analyst at BGC Partners.
Wall Street was also pleased with the company's ongoing share buyback program. IAC bought some 7.2 million shares between April 22 and July 22 and said its board had authorized the repurchase of an additional 15 million.
Gillis said the buyback program has been key to boosting the company's stock. "They've bought back over a third of the company over the last six quarters, it's like they're very quietly taking the company private."
Shares of New York-based IAC were up 11.7 percent at $42.21 in mid-day trading after rising as high as $43.80. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore and Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Joyjeet Das, Lisa Von Ahn and Gunna Dickson)
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