Tinder helps Match swipe right on revenue, user adds

(Reuters) – Tinder-owner Match Group Inc (MTCH.O) beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as more users signed up on its online dating platforms. The owner of OkCupid and PlentyOfFish said average subscribers at September-end rose 19% to 9.6 million from a year ago, including a rise of about 29% subscribers in its international markets. Tinder — which has made “swipe left” and “swipe right” a point of pop culture conversations – added 437,000 average subscribers in the quarter bringing its total average subscriber count to 5.7 million. The results come at a time when Match faces stiff competition from rivals, including Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) recently launched dating service in the United States, and amidst a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint related to the company’s certain marketing-related claims. Last month, parent IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC.O) said it intends to spin off its ownership stake in Match Group resulting in the full separation of the two companies. Match on Tuesday said it expects spin-off related expense to be about $10 million in fiscal 2020. To fend off competition, the company has boosted its marketing spend on its money-spinner Tinder in emerging markets, including India and Latin America, as well as its other dating services, PlentyOfFish and Hinge. Match’s total operating expenses rose about 20% to $364.9 million in the quarter. Total revenue rose 22% to $541.5 million in the third quarter, edging past analysts’ estimates of about $540.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. However, for the current quarter the company expects total revenue between $545 million and $555 million, below analysts’ estimate of $559.3 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The company’s net earnings attributable to Match Group shareholders rose to $151.5 million, or 51 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, from $130.2 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

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