Free

Doing the math at IAC and Expedia…

The shareholders of IAC/InterActiveCorp. (IACI) may still be celebrating the 22 percent jump in first-quarter revenues (announced April 26), but we were more interested in the proxy that the company filed late last week.

First is an update on Gregory Blatt, who – despite being named chief executive on Dec. 1, 2010 – is still “second banana” to Barry Diller, as Theo’s post from late last year explains. IAC’s proxy values Blatt’s stock awards and option awards much higher than the conservative calculations we made last year. According to IAC’s grant date fair value, Blatt’s RSUs had a value of more than $8.557 million, and the stock options were worth more than $7.976 million. Of course, both types of equity awards are still subject to vesting requirements, so Blatt can’t cash in the RSUs or exercise the options for a while yet.

The proxy also disclosed that Blatt – whom you’ll recall was added to IAC’s payroll on Dec. 1, 2010 – used the corporate jet “on one occasion,” which cost shareholders $27,591; IAC notes that the number reflects the “variable cost for this flight and does not include monthly management fees for such aircraft.” Given some of the other flight expenses we’ve seen in proxies, it seems like a lot of money for one jaunt on the jet.

But $27.5K probably doesn’t even cover the snack tab for Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller and his family’s personal flights.

Last year, Diller – whom IAC requires to use Company-owned or chartered aircraft for both business and personal travel – racked up $644,530 in personal flying time on IAC’s corporate jet. (Besides his $500,000 base salary and his $2.5 million bonus, the company spent another $70,590 on Diller’s personal use of two automobiles, office space at IAC and the cost of equipment used by “certain individuals who work for Mr. Diller personally,” and “costs incurred for Mr. Diller’s personal use of other car services.”)

That’s a pretty nice deal for anyone – including Diller – but he’s also getting a nice payout from Expedia, Inc. (EXPE), which filed a 10-K/A yesterday that included information about the executive compensation it paid in 2010.

Expedia paid $605,786 for Diller’s personal use of the corporate jet. For those keeping score at home, that’s more than $1.25 million in personal flights, thanks to the generosity of IAC’s and Expedia’s shareholders. (That’s a staggering number, to be sure, but it’s down from $1.7 million spent in 2009, as this post from last year reported.) Expedia also paid Diller a base salary of $465,000, a bonus of $1 million, and stock options worth more than $2.210 million.

Maybe the fact that Diller’s so busy running two companies and spending more than $1.25 million worth of personal flight time on the corporate jets explains why he mistakenly boasted (as Jeff Bercovici reported) that the Daily Beast is

“probably the only place in journalism where it has an original, certainly the first original news site in the Beast, which is not an aggregator but predominantly original journalism, which is the first time anybody did that on the internet as a pure standalone product.”

Clearly Diller hasn’t spent as much time on the Internet as we have. While he’s clearly poking at The Huffington Post with that statement, The Daily Beast is hardly the only site out there with original content. As Bercovici noted, what about Slate or Salon, which have been around for well over a decade now? Not to mention hundreds of other sites, including the one that you’re reading right now.

Image source: Global Jet via flickr

_________

Last week’s news that Lawson Software (LWSN) is being acquired in a $2 billion deal brings our M&A batting average up to .300: On Jan. 14, we gave FootnotedPro subscribers a list of 10 M&A picks and Lawson was one of them, along with Smurfit-Stone Container (SSCC) and Pride International (PDE), which announced deals earlier this year. Plus, late last week, RW Baird issued a buy rating and a $20 price target on Abiomed (ABMD), which we flagged when it was trading close to $10 a share. You can find out more about FootnotedPro here. FootnotedPro: Interesting. Actionable. Profitable.