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Will Investors Feel the Love When Match Reports Earnings?

By Danny Vena - Nov 4, 2018 at 5:34AM

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Investors have been smitten with the dating specialist's stellar growth. Will the love affair continue?

Love has been a lucrative business for digital-matchmaker Match Group (MTCH). Even in the wake of the recent market rout, the stock is up more than 50% so far this year. The company's Tinder app has driven its growth, and by expanding its ecosystem of features and services, Match is working to keep the love alive. 

Investors will be watching closely when Match reports the financial results of its third quarter after the market closes on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Let's take a look at the company's most recent quarter and see if it provides any insight into its upcoming earnings.

A heart formed by flames.

Image source: Getty Images.

A lot to love

For the second quarter, Match reported revenue of $421 million, up 36% year over year, while earnings per share of $0.45 increased 165% compared to the prior-year quarter. Both metrics sailed past analysts' consensus estimates, which were looking for earnings per share of $0.35 and revenue of $413 million.

Revenue was boosted by an increase in average subscribers, which grew to 7.723 million, up 27% compared to the prior-year quarter, while the average revenue per user (ARPU) climbed 8% to $0.57. The growth was strong across the company's markets, up 20% in North America and 36% in international markets, both year over year.

Tinder fueled that fire

The star performer for the dating specialist was Tinder, which grew its members by 299,000 last quarter, to nearly 3.77 million users. Revenue soared 136% year over year, and subscribers jumped an impressive 81%. Existing users spent more, with ARPU that climbed 33%, as a growing number of users opted for the premium version of the app -- Tinder Gold.

Recent features the company introduced are proving to be a hit with members, helping to drive user conversion and retention. Tinder Gold Users get four to 10 curated picks per day, and the app has begun to offer location-based matches.

Match also acquired a controlling stake in dating app Hinge, which bills itself as the "anti-Tinder," focusing on long-term relationships. Match is hoping the app will provide the company's next big growth spurt.

What the quarter might hold

Match raised its full-year forecast on the strength of its growth for the second time in as many quarters. The company is expecting revenue of $1.70 billion at the midpoint of its guidance, up 27.7% year over year, and a significant uptick from the $1.55 billion it initially forecast. Match is guiding for adjusted operating income in a range of $625 million and $650 million, which would represent 36% year-over-year growth at the midpoint of its guidance and up from its previous estimate of about $575 million.

For the third quarter, Match is projecting revenue of about $435 million, up 27% compared to the prior-year quarter, and adjusted EBITDA in a range of $160 million and $165 million, an increase of 36% at the midpoint of its guidance.

Analysts are similarly optimistic, with consensus estimates calling for revenue of $436.62 million, just topping management's guidance, and earnings per share of $0.36, up 89% compared to the prior-year quarter. 

Match group has shown a remarkable ability to expand its user base and roll out features that appeal to its members, allowing the company to increase profits. There isn't any indication that will change when Match reports earnings on Nov. 7.

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