IAC Stock July 31Slower than expected ticket sales through its Ticketmaster division contributed to IAC/InterActiveCorp’s quarterly profit increasing less than analysts’ projections, the company announced earlier today.

Total ticket revenue was $302.7 million for the quarter ended June 30, trailing the $343.7 million estimated by Aaron Kessler, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., according to the Bloomberg wire service.

“People may be selling more of their own tickets,” Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg. “The contract renewals they’re getting are probably on poorer terms.”

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Fan in North American bought 10 million seats for concerts in April and May, down 5.9 percent from the same period in 2006, according to Bloomberg, based on numbers provided by Pollstar. . .

In addition, revenue fell at IAC’s HSN home-shopping division, leading to shares of the company’s stock falling the most in three months.

Second-quarter net income rose 78 percent to $96 million, or 32 cents a share, from $53.8 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, according to IAC. Profit excluding some items missed analysts’ estimates by 2 cents. As a result, the company said it expects third-quarter earnings growth would be “flat.”

U.S. consumers, faced with higher gasoline costs and a slumping housing market, spent less on concert tickets and arranged fewer high-margin home loans. Operating profit at IAC’s retail unit fell 31 percent as the HSN television channel and Internet site were hurt by competition from Liberty Media Corp.’s QVC Inc., according to Bloomberg.

“We did not anticipate the softness in domestic ticketing volumes,” IAC’s CEO Barry Diller said in a prepared statement. “We are not satisfied with these results, whether driven by market conditions or our own hand, and are taking every appropriate action.”

Operating income fell 33 percent to $54.4 million on increased selling and marketing expenses. Revenue climbed 5.6 percent to $1.51 billion, the New York-based company said. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated an average of $1.59 billion.

Shares of IAC fell $1.22, or 4 percent, to $29.14 at 2:04pm EST in composite trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the biggest decline since May, according to Bloomberg. By the 4pm close, IAC shares had dropped further to $28.74.

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Excluding non-cash compensation, amortization and other items, IAC said it earned 31 cents a share. Fourteen analysts estimated average profit of 33 cents, according to Bloomberg.

Sales fell 9 percent at IAC’s LendingTree division, which cut about a fifth of its workers in May as it sold fewer higher-margin home-equity and adjustable-rate loans, according to Bloomberg.

Home values in 20 U.S. cities fell the most in at least six years in May as a glut of unsold properties, mounting defaults and higher mortgage rates suggest the housing recession has yet to touch bottom, according to the S&P/Case- Shiller index issued today.

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