Facebook Dating is no challenger to Tinder-owner Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), which posted third-quarter earnings per share of 44 cents on Tuesday.
The company, which owns several brands of internet dating services, including Tinder, Hinge, Ok Cupid and PlentyOfFish, surpassed analyst’s forecasted revenue of $437 million, reporting Q3 revenue of $444 million, a 29 percent increase year-over-year.
Match says it expects to bring in a total of $1.72 billion in annual revenue.
Despite positive earnings, the company’s 4Q outlook failed to satisfy Wall Street. Match said it expects between $440 and $450 million in revenue in Q4, falling short of the $454.5 million analyst estimate. Shares of Match sank 10 percent in after-hours trading as a result.
Year-to-date, Match’s stock is up roughly 60 percent.
Tinder, the location-based mobile dating application, continues to be Match’s growth engine. Match’s total number of paid subscribers came in at 8.1 million, up from 7.7 million in Q2 and a 23 percent increase YoY. Much of that growth comes from Tinder Gold, Tinder’s premium subscription tier that lets users see who’s already liked them without doing any swiping. Overall Tinder’s paying user base is up to 4.1 million from 3.8 million the previous quarter.
Match says Tinder’s direct revenue is up 100 percent YoY; it’s expected to bring in $800 million in revenue in 2018. Hinge, another app-based dating service acquired by Match in June, has seen a 5x increase in downloads since Match first invested.
Match also announced that it would, for the first time, issue a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share on Match Group common stock and Class B common stock, to be paid out on Dec. 19.
Match continues to be on the prowl for strategic M&A opportunities, said its chief executive officer Mandy Ginsberg in a statement
“[We] have the financial flexibility to acquire companies when we find innovative products with long-term potential,” she said.
The company has reportedly attempted to acquire Tinder-competitor Bumble on more than one occasion, though the nasty legal battle playing out between the dating powerhouses makes that combination unlikely. Most recently, Bumble said it was dropping its $400 million lawsuit against Match, which had claimed Match fraudulently obtained trade secrets during acquisition talks. Though Bumble may refile the suit at the state level.