Last week IAC’s Barry Diller told an investor conference that growth at his Home Shopping Network unit was through the roof. Today, IAC’s lawyer has to tell the SEC that HSN is only doing ok. The concise and surprisingly readable text of IAC’s 8-K:
At the Citi Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications conference on Tuesday, Barry Diller, CEO of IAC, made certain remarks about recent performance of the Company’s HSN business unit. His remarks were misunderstood to mean that fourth quarter revenue growth for the Company’s HSN business unit was 20% over the prior year, but his intent was to convey that individual days were frequently showing up to 20% or greater growth over the prior year. For the full fourth quarter, the Company currently expects HSN’s revenue growth (excluding revenue from America’s Store which was included in the year-ago quarter only given that it has ceased operations) to be approximately 8%. [Emphasis added].
That’s a very un-Barry mistake (SA 100 #2). What would have thrown him off this game? Perhaps he was already involved in the back-and-forth with John Malone’s Liberty Corp. over Malone’s plan to buy another 5% of IACI, a transaction announced last Friday.
And by the way, there was only a single seller in that transaction. Who was it? Valleywag’s Owen Thomas notes that only two IACI investors owned enough shares to part with 20 million of them: Mutual funds Legg Mason and Lord Abbett & Co. Owen bets that it’s Legg Mason, since it’s sold IACI in the past. Unfortunately mutual funds only provide updates on their holdings periodically, so it may be several months before we have paperwork that verifies the seller.
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