* Q1 adj share $0.14 vs Wall Street view $0.07
* Q1 revenue rises 16 pct to $385.9 mln
* Search queries up sequentially over past six quarters
* Shares fall 1.6 percent
(Adds executive comments)
By Paul Thomasch
NEW YORK, April 28 Barry Diller's
IAC/InterActiveCorp IACI.O reported stronger-than-expected
quarterly results, including a 16 percent rise in revenue, as
its Ask.com Web search business gained in popularity.
The results come amid questions over whether Diller, the
company's controlling shareholder, will return to dealmaking,
either by selling Ask.com or buying other Web-based companies.
Diller largely avoided the issue of deals during a call
with analysts on Wednesday, other than to say he did not
foresee any sizable acquisitions on the horizon.
Instead, executives focused on first-quarter results that
beat expectations, including a particularly strong quarter from
the company's search business.
Search queries have risen sequentially in the past six
quarters, and in the latest quarter search advertising revenue
was up 20 percent from a year earlier.
But executives said 20 percent revenue gains were "not the
new normal" and would not be repeated in the second quarter.
That helped take the steam out of a stock that had traded
3 percent higher earlier in the day. By late afternoon, the
shares were down 1.6 percent at $22.79.
Diller has made it clear that Ask.com is not central to the
IAC's future, and late last year he said he had been approached
by parties interested in buying the website.
Discussions have also taken place with AOL Inc AOL.N
about a possible partnership.
Ask.com is the fourth-ranked search engine in a highly
competitive market, trailing Google Inc (GOOG.O), Yahoo Inc
(YHOO.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).
Overall revenue surpassed forecasts in the latest quarter,
rising to $385.9 million from $332 million a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had forecast revenue of $350.2
million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share, excluding items
such as a writedown on IAC's investment in The HealthCentral
Network, also beat the 7 cents analysts had expected.
IAC, which also owns dating site Match.com and local site
Citysearch, reported a quarterly loss of $18.7 million, or 16
cents per share, compared with a loss of $28.4 million, or 19
cents a share, a year ago.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Maureen Bavdek and