Markets & Finance

CS First Boston Cuts InterActive to Neutral

CS First Boston downgraded InterActive Corp. (IACI) to neutral from outperform.

Analyst Heath Terry says until the Internet media and travel giant's long-term strategy begins to show results, he sees InterActive trading in line with the broader Internet group. He says the 22 cents second-quarter adjusted earnings per share is in line, and the $1.501 billion in revenue missed his $1.611 billion estimate. Terry notes the 55.1% gross margin missed his 55.9% estimate, too. Management cut the guidance from $1.0 billion to $1.2 billion in 2004 operating income before amortization to $1.0 billion.

Terry says the main factors were weakness in Hotwire, international travel, Home Shopping Network Germany, higher marketing costs, slower-than-expected growth in Personals, and lower conversion trends at Terry cut the $42 target to $29, and cut the 97 cents 2004 adjusted earnings per share estimate to 90 cents.

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