Following fellow Internet company AOL (AOL) into the earnings spotlight, IAC/InterActive Corporation. (IACI - 45.39) unveiled its fourth-quarter results early this morning. IACI saw its fourth-quarter net income drop a year-over-year 44% to $48.8 million, or 53 cents per share. Excluding items, profit more than doubled to 70 cents per share. Revenue rose 32% to $596.9 million. Results topped expectations, as analysts forecast a bottom line of 54 cents per share on $566 million in sales.
IACI has capitalized on its better-than-predicted results, tagging a new all-time high of $45.99, just after the opening bell. The stock has added nearly 51% over the past 52 weeks, climbing higher atop its 20-week and 32-week moving averages. At last look, the shares are up more than 5%, and are attempting to find a perch above the $45 mark.
Checking out the sentiment backdrop, there appears to be plenty of pent-up negativity toward IACI. Short interest on the equity is up 7.7% during the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for 6.1% of the security's available float. At IACI's average pace of trading, these pessimistic positions would take over one week to unwind, which could translate into a fresh source of buying pressure for the security.
Elsewhere on Wall Street, IACI's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 6.53 indicates that puts readily outnumber calls among options slated to expire within three months. This ratio ranks in the 97th percentile of its annual range, suggesting that short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy during the past year.
The lingering bearish analysts could jump ship if IACI's positive price action persists. Zacks tallies six "buy" or better endorsements, compared to six lukewarm "hold" suggestions.
In light of IACI's technical and fundamental prowess, a change of heart among skeptical brokers or options traders, or a short-squeeze situation, could bolster the Internet issue's quest for new highs.
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