Tinder love fuels Match Group's revenue beat, upbeat forecast; shares rise

(Reuters) - Online dating services provider Match Group Inc MTCH.O forecast third-quarter sales above estimates and reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as its popular app Tinder attracted more users, sending shares up more than 17% in extended trading.

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

The app, which has made “swipe left” and “swipe right” a point of pop culture conversations, grew its average subscriber base 40.5% to 5.2 million in the quarter with new launches.

Tinder’s lighter app version, Tinder Lite, was launched on Android platforms in a few South-east Asian and South American countries.

The company also launched two new features Read Receipts and Super Boost for its premium Tinder Gold and Plus subscribers on iOS platform. Read Receipts allows a person to see if their match on the app has seen their messages, while Super Boost gives a person more visibility.

Match now allows its Android customers to enter payments details directly at its website to avoid the Google Play store fee, Bloomberg reported last month, citing research by Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter.

The company has also been boosting its marketing spend on its other dating services, Hinge, Harmonica and OkCupid.

Average subscribers at June-end rose 18% to 9.1 million.

Match now expects to add over 1.6 million average subscribers in 2019, above the 1 million the company had forecast earlier.

The company forecast third-quarter revenue between $535 million and $545 million, significantly above expectations of $521 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Match said it sees adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $200 million to $205 million, above estimates of $202.1 million.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 rose about 18% to $498 million, above expectations of $489 million.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders fell to $128 million, or 43 cents per share, from $132.5 million, or 45 cents a year ago.

Excluding effects of foreign exchange, Match’s average revenue per user was up 5% at $0.60.

Shares of the Dallas-Texas based company, which has gained over 72% so far this year, were trading at $86.38 after the bell.

Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli