Tinder growth powers Match earnings beat, shares soar

Published: February 7, 2019
The dating app Tinder is shown on an Apple iPhone in this photo illustration taken February 10, 2016.

The dating app Tinder is shown on an Apple iPhone in this photo illustration taken February 10, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Match Group beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and profit on Wednesday as its popular dating app, Tinder, attracted more subscribers, sending its shares up as much as 12 per cent in extended trading.

Match has been investing heavily in Tinder and its other dating services as it looks to grab a bigger slice of the online dating market, which is estimated to touch $12 billion in 2020 by Nomura analysts.

Tinder — which has made “swipe left” and “swipe right” a point of pop culture conversations – added 233,000 average subscribers in the quarter, bringing its total average subscriber count to 4.3 million, or 1.2 million more than a year earlier.

Overall subscribers at Match rose to 8.2 million.

Match Group revenue soars as Tinder attracts more subscribers

Match said it earned 58 cents per user on average, 3 cents more than last year as more users shifted to its premium services such as Tinder Gold.

Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus offer features such as unlimited likes, the ability to take back an accidental swipe and better profile visibility for a fee.

The company, however, forecast first-quarter revenue of $455 million to $465 million, below analysts’ estimates of $469.7 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The company said a strong dollar weighed on its forecast.

Match said it also expects first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of $150 million to $155 million. Analysts were expecting $155.28 million.

Operating expenses rose about 22 per cent in the fourth quarter as Match boosted marketing spend on its money-spinner Tinder in emerging markets, including India and Latin America while ramping up other services such as PlentyOfFish and Hinge.

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The company faces stiff competition from a host of rivals including Bumble, which recently launched its app in India, a market with huge potential for dating-related services.

Total revenue rose 20.7 per cent to $457.34 million, beating estimates of about $448.5 million.

Net earnings attributable to Match Group shareholders was $115.5 million, or 39 cents per share, for the three months ended December 31, compared with a loss of $9 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Match earned 43 cents per share, beating estimates of 38 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s shares were up 10.3 per cent at $58.54. They have risen nearly 73 per cent in the last 12 months.

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