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LendingTree (TREE) Stock Down 11.4% as Q1 Earnings Fall Y/Y

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Shares of LendingTree (TREE - Free Report) depreciated 11.4% following the release of first-quarter 2021 results. The company reported adjusted net income per share of 18 cents in the quarter, slumping 85% from the $1.12 reported in the prior-year quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at a loss of 21 cents.

The company’s performance was adversely impacted by lower consumer revenues on the coronavirus crisis, added by elevated expenses and a weak cash position. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reflect a decline from the prior-year quarter.

However, current low rates’ impact on mortgage-related sources of revenues is expected to support financials in the upcoming quarters.

The company reported GAAP net income of $19.3 million or $1.37 per share compared with the $19 million or $1.34 in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues Decline, Expenses Rise

Total revenues slid 4% year over year to $272.8 million in the first quarter. This downside primarily stemmed from lower consumer revenues. The reported figure, however, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $265.8 million.

Total costs and expenses came in at $274.7 million, up 4.7% from the prior-year quarter. This upswing chiefly resulted from a rise in selling and marketing expense, general and administrative expense, cost of product development, depreciation costs and change in fair value of contingent consideration.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $30.7 million, down 32% from the $44.9 million reported in the year-earlier quarter. Variable marketing margin came in at $89 million, down 9% year over year.

As of Mar 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents were $162.1 million, down 4.6% from Dec 31, 2020. Long-term debt was up 1.3% from the prior-year end to $619.5 million. Total shareholders' equity was $395.4 million, up 8.4%.

Outlook

Concurrent with the March-end quarter results, management issued second-quarter 2021 estimates.

  •     Total revenues of $263-$273 million projected.
  •     Adjusted EBITDA anticipated in the $27-$31 million band.
  •     Variable Marketing Margin projected at $86-$92 million.

Conclusion

LendingTree put up a disappointing show during the January-March period in terms of earnings. The company’s inconsistent quarterly performance, unsustainable capital-deployment activities and reduction in consumer revenues are near-term headwinds.

Nonetheless, the bank’s declining dependence on mortgage-related sources of revenues and various opportunistic acquisitions over the past several years are likely to continue aiding financials and help diversify revenues.

LendingTree, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

LendingTree, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

LendingTree, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | LendingTree, Inc. Quote

Currently, LendingTree carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Finance Stocks

BOK Financial’s (BOKF - Free Report) first-quarter 2021 earnings per share of $2.10 handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.92. Further, the bottom line compares favorably with the prior-year quarter’s 88 cents.

TCF Financial Corporation delivered first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share of 84 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 78 cents. Also, the figure increased 47.4% from the prior-year quarter.

Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. (TCBI - Free Report) reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.33 in the first quarter, inching past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.11. Also, results compared favorably with the prior-year quarter’s loss of $0.38 per share.

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LendingTree, Inc. (TREE) - free report >>