Shares of Match Group Inc. were off 3% in after-hours trading Tuesday as the online-dating giant delivered a lower-than-expected forecast, citing pressure from the omicron variant.
The company reported a fourth-quarter GAAP net loss of $168.6 million, or 60 cents a share, whereas it earned $149.0 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-prior quarter.
Match’s MTCH, -0.54% revenue rose to $806.1 million from $651.4 million, while analysts tracked by FactSet had been expecting $819.9 million. The company had 16.2 million “payers” in the quarter.
“While we were able to deliver strong top-line growth in the fourth quarter, we did experience continuing COVID impacts, especially in certain Asian markets, like Japan, and more recently due to the emergence of omicron, which reduced mobility in many markets starting in early December,” the company said in its earnings letter.
More positively, Match said that it’s seen greater-than-expected adoption among Tinder users of Explore, a new feature that lets daters find others with similar interests.
The company also called out Hinge as “the standout” of its “emerging” dating brands. Hinge saw its revenue more than double during 2021 to reach $197 million and the company witnessed a “material acceleration” in downloads during the fourth quarter.
For 2022, Match expects total revenue growth of 15% to 20% on a year-over-year basis. “That’s a slightly more conservative outlook than we previously provided,” the company acknowledged in its earnings letter, given expected pressures from foreign exchange and the omicron variant.
For the first quarter, Match projects $790 million to $800 million in revenue, while the FactSet consensus was for $835 million.
“Match hasn’t been able to escape the COVID puts and takes as the surge of omicron globally again impacted results in 4Q, as well as the outlook for 2022, particularly in 1Q22,” Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian wrote in a note to clients following the report.
He expects that reopening trends will become a “net benefit for Match” but also noted continued headwinds in Asia. Arounian rates the stock at neutral with a $170 price target.
Evercore ISI’s Shweta Khajuria said that Match’s report and outlook “were a slight disappointment” but wondered if Match delivered a “clearing-event quarter”
Khajuria rates the stock at outperform with a $175 price target.