Deal Talk Spurs USA

USA Networks Inc. stock surged more than 5 percent Tuesday, or $1.56 per
share, after the company reported strong quarterly results and discussed
acquisition plans.

USA also said it plans to capture 20 percent of the total
interactive-commerce market, mainly through acquisitions, within the next three

The stock rose as high as $30.11 per share -- up 9 percent, or $2.47 --
before closing at $29.20 Tuesday.

In a securities filing, USA outlined its five-year budget, saying it plans to
make five to 10 acquisitions annually for the next three years at an aggregate
cost of about $9 billion.

Chairman Barry Diller, in a conference call with reporters, declined to
elaborate on what USA might buy.

For the fourth quarter, USA said, pro forma revenue grew 17 percent year over
year and cash flow rose 25 percent.

But USA included results from a pending acquisition -- Expedia Inc. -- and it
did not include the results of its advertising-dependent cable networks in the
period. Those cable assets are to be combined into a new unit, Vivendi Universal

Revenue at ad-supported cable networks USA Network and Sci Fi Channel and at
Studios USA declined a combined 15 percent, and cash flow dropped 16

At USA Network, for example, cash flow fell 20 percent to $84.9 million and
revenue declined 7 percent to $184.7 million.