NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Cendant Corp., which was jolted by an accounting scandal earlier this year, said Wednesday it's considering alternatives regarding the possible sale of its interactive businesses.
The Parsippany, N.J.-based company said the sale would be in keeping with its strategy of focusing on its three core operations: travel services, real estate services and alliance marketing.
Cendant didn't specify what businesses are being considered for disposition. A spokesman said the company's interactive operations include Match.com, an online dating service; Books.com, an online book merchant; Rentnet, which provides information about rentals; and Netmarket, an online shopping service.
In November, Cendant announced the approximately $1 billion sale of its consumer software companies -- including Knowledge Adventure, Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line -- to the French company Havas SA.
Cendant (CD) Chairman and CEO Henry R. Silverman said the company expects fourth-quarter 1998 and full-year 1999 earnings per share from continuing operations, before charges related to the accounting scandal and the scuttled acquisition of American Bankers Insurance Group, will be in line with expectations.
And Silverman, addressing institutional investors and equity analysts in New York, said Cendant has begun its previously announced $1 billion stock repurchase program, having bought $100 million of its shares to date.
The shares took a beating beginning in April when accounting irregularities at CUC International, which combined with HFS Corp. last year to form Cendant, were revealed. The stock, whose 52-week high of 41-11/16 was reached shortly before the irregularities were announced, plunged as low as 6-1/2 on Oct. 8.
At midday Wednesday, Cendant shares were down 7/16 to 19-13/16 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
Cendant's real estate operations include the Coldwell Banker and Century 21 brokerages. Its travel operations include hotel chain licensing for Days Inn and Ramada as well as the Avis car rental business.