Online business conglomerate InteractiveCorp, the parent company of online lending and realty services exchange LendingTree, reported first quarter net income of $38 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a loss of $110 million, or 23 cents per share a year ago.

Total revenue grew 6 percent to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion the previous year.

Revenue at LendingTree was up 2 percent over the prior year, despite a 45 percent drop in industry-wide home loan refinancings, the company said. InteractiveCorp reported revenue of $39.7 million from the financial services and real estate segment, which posted a $3.6 million loss in operating income and a $3.1 million gain in operating income before amortization.

“Results (at LendingTree) were driven by purchase mortgage activity, which more than doubled as a result of strong close rates and a targeted marketing campaign, as well as the real estate and home equity products and incremental revenue from acquisitions,” InteractiveCorp said in a statement.

LendingTree’s prior year results were not included in InteractiveCorp’s first quarter earnings statement because the acquisition of the online lending company closed on Aug. 8, 2003.

The LendingTree lending exchange includes more than 200 banks. The Realty Services arm connects home buyers and sellers to a nationwide network of approximately 10,000 Realtors.

InteractiveCorp’s online travel business, which includes Expedia and Hotels.com, led its first-quarter profit. The company also operates Citysearch, Match.com, Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network and expects to earn between $415 million and $615 million in operating income this year.

InteractiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI) shares traded at $31 a share this morning.

Send tips or feedback to Jessica@inman.com; (510) 658-9252, ext.133.

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