Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) reported first-quarter results on May 2. The parent company of Tinder and Match.com saw its revenue and earnings boosted by strong international member growth.

Match Group results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$298.764 million

$260.401 million

15%

Operating income

$58.871 million

$34.186 million

72%

Adjusted EBITDA

$86.231 million

$67.274 million

28%

Data source: Match Group Q1 2017 earnings press release.

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What happened with Match Group this quarter?

  • Revenue rose 15% year over year to $299 million, fueled by 30% growth in Match Group's international direct revenue.
  • Average paid member count (PMC) grew 16% to 5.9 million, with North America PMC rising 7% to 3.4 million and international PMC surging 33% to 2.4 million.
  • Tinder added 227,000 paid members, bringing its average PMC to nearly 1.9 million, up from 915,000  at the end of the Q1 2016.
  • Average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) was down less than 1% to $0.53, as a 2% increase in ARPPU in Match Group's North America segment was offset by a 2% decline in international ARPPU.
  • EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) -- adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation expense, acquisition-related costs, and other special items -- jumped 28% to $86 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 29%, up from 26% in the prior-year quarter, as a larger proportion of Match's revenue continues to shift toward brands with lower marketing requirements.
  • All told, adjusted net income increased 17% to $36 million, or $0.12 per share.

New share repurchase program

Match Group's board of directors authorized a stock buyback program of up to 6 million shares of Match's stock. CFO Gary Swidler commented on the share purchases during a conference call with analysts:

Our stock has tended to fluctuate fairly meaningfully, and the buyback authorization enables us to take action if the circumstances warrant. This is not a buyback authorization where we plan to go into the market aggressively. It's possible we don't use it at all. But we do think, given our cash flow characteristics, that it's a good arrow to have in our quiver and enables us to act opportunistically to drive longer-term shareholder value.

Swidler did, however, note that he still expects Match Group's public float to increase over the course of this year, despite this new share repurchase program.

Looking forward

Match Group expects second-quarter revenue of $303 million to $313 million, with adjusted EBITDA of $102 million to $107 million.

Management also left its 2017 full-year guidance unchanged, which incudes revenue of $1,260 million to $1,305 million and adjusted EBITDA of $450 million to $470 million.

"Match Group is off to a solid start in 2017. Strong paid user growth continues, and we're making meaningful progress on our product and marketing strategies," Chairman and CEO Greg Blatt said in a press release. "We're on track to have a strong year."

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Match Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.