USA Branches Out With Lending Tree

Prudential Securities analyst Katherine Styponias reiterated her "buy" rating and $40 price target for USA Interactive after it agreed to buy online real-estate and lending exchange Lending Tree for $734 million in stock. In a note, Styponias said the acquisition, a departure from USA's other online businesses (travel and ticketing), is in a key segment of Web commerce and could become a premier consumer-financing destination.