The Next Berkshire?
By Donna Rosato

(MONEY Magazine) – Is Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) the Berkshire Hathaway of the new millennium? Prescient Legg Mason manager Bill Miller thinks so. He's been comparing InterActive's portfolio of Web and media companies--including Expedia, Home Shopping Network, Lending Tree and Match.com--to Warren Buffett's coveted conglomerate. Both firms have granite balance sheets, gush free cash flow and own businesses that are tops in their field.

The comparison, says Diller, is "undeserved at present, but not in my hopes and dreams." He adds that the Web can help InterActive's pieces fit together in a way that Berkshire's disparate parts, from insurers to Dairy Queen, just can't. But he's slowing down the deals. "We think valuations are getting out of hand," Diller says. Could the same be said of InterActive? With sales of $5.9 billion, it's bigger than Amazon or eBay. But based on expected 2004 earnings, it trades at a big discount to its Net peers. --DONNA ROSATO