Online dating pioneer Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) is looking for love in all the right places. In fact, the parent company of Tinder, Match.com, OKCupid and other dating sites continues to grow. On May 8, in the company’s first quarter earnings report, Match Group reported total revenue of $407.4 million, a 36 percent increase over the first quarter of 2017. The company also reported net earnings of $100 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, representing growth of 397 percent.
‘I’m glad we have everyone’s attention for our best results since our IPO,’ said Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group in a news release. ‘We continue to deliver innovative products that customers across our portfolio of brands find valuable, and we are not slowing down anytime soon. I am highly confident that our product roadmap, particularly at Tinder, will allow us to remain the clear leader in this category and deliver continued growth for Match Group shareholders.’
Other highlights for the quarter include the following:
- Operating income was $112.2 million, a 91 percent increase compared to $58.9 million in Q1 2017.
- Operating income margin was 28 percent, 7.8 percent higher than Q1 2017.
- As of March 31, 2018, Match Group had $288 million in cash and cash equivalents and $1.3 billion in long-term debt.
- Match settled its intellectual property suit against TanTan. As a result, TanTan will redesign their U.S. app.
Subscriber highlights for the quarter include:
- Subscribers are up 87 percent year-over-year, including sequential growth of 368,000 average subscribers in Q1.
- The company also reported ‘continued strength in Gold renewal rates.’
- Average subscribers were 7.4 million, a 26 percent increase over 5.9 million in Q1 2017.
- Tinder average subscribers were 3.5 million, compared to 1.6 million in Q1 2017.
- Average revenue per user (ARPU) was $0.58, compared to $0.53 for the same period last year. This growth is attributed to growth in Gold subscriptions and a la carte revenue growth.
According to Match’s investor presentation, the company has a number of product updates planned for 2018, including app changes that it believes will increase subscribers’ time on app, return visits and conversations. The company is also testing user controls. For example, one update will allow women to control who sends the first message. For premium users, Match is trying to increase its value to paid users such as more features available via subscription, fewer ads and higher service levels.
Because Match has international users, the company has spent the last 18 months preparing for GDPR standards which go into effect on Friday, May 25. It is applying similar privacy standards across all markets.
The company provided the following financial guidance for the second quarter:
- Total revenue between $405 million and $415 million
- Revenue growth will be driven by Tinder, as well as stability of other brands.
- Adjusted EBITDA between $160 million to $165 million
The company improved its guidance for fiscal year 2018, based on the success of Tinder:
- Total revenue between $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion
- Adjusted EBITDA between $600 million and $650 million
Since posting first quarter financials in early May, Match stock has grown from $36.32 on May 8 to $40.75 as of 4:35 p.m. EDT on May 18.
Since starting its business 20 years ago, Match has become a leader in online dating. The company employs more than 1,000 staff in 20 offices around the world and, in the last four years in North America, Match has generated more than 5.2 million relationships. It has products under a number of brands in 190 countries, translated into 42 languages.
Whether you love online dating or hate it, it is hard to dispute Match’s success. The company continues to tweak its offerings to figure out what its customers want and, based on its first quarter results and revised outlook, it looks like Match has a solid 2018 planned with new features and premium revenue possibilities.