Category: Services

LendingTree Reports Record Third Quarter Results; Increasing Full-Year Outlook

-- Record Revenue of $69.8 million; up 69% over third quarter 2014
-- Record Variable Marketing Margin of $24.3 million; up 46% over third quarter 2014
-- Record Net Income from Continuing Operations of $7.4 million
-- Record Adjusted EBITDA of $11.0 million; up 90% over third quarter 2014
-- Record revenue from mortgage products of $44.2 million, up 38% over third quarter 2014
-- Record revenue from non-mortgage products of $25.6 million, up 175% over third quarter 2014
-- Personal loans revenue of $15.6 million, up 325% over third quarter 2014
-- Credit cards revenue of $2.7 million, up 574% sequentially over second quarter 2015
-- My LendingTree enrollment exceeds 2 million users
-- Increasing full-year 2015 guidance and issuing full-year 2016 guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 26, 2015 -- LendingTree, Inc. (TREE), operator of LendingTree.com, the nation's leading online loan marketplace, today announced results for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.

"LendingTree performed exceptionally well in the third quarter, recording year-over-year growth in every lending category," said Doug Lebda, Chairman and CEO. "In mortgage, our increasingly analytics-driven approach to sales provided for meaningful wins. We brought on new lenders while increasing sales within our existing lender network, and we invested heavily into marketing to drive additional volume. These results and our continued momentum in new categories give us the confidence to, once again, raise our outlook for this year and issue full-year 2016 guidance."

Gabe Dalporto, Chief Financial Officer added, "In another record quarter, we're pleased to see the accelerated growth trajectory of both our mortgage and non-mortgage offerings. We are particularly excited about credit cards, which has emerged as a significant revenue driver, delivering $2.7 million in revenue in Q3, up from less than half a million in the prior quarter. In addition to terrific performance in the business, I am also happy to announce that last week, we closed on a $125 million revolving credit facility.  We're seeing an accelerating number of acquisition opportunities in the market and while none are immediately actionable, this facility gives us the flexibility to execute on attractive and accretive opportunities."

Third Quarter 2015 Business Highlights

  • Revenue from mortgage products of $44.2 million, represents an increase of 38% over third quarter 2014 and an increase of 19% sequentially versus second quarter 2015.
  • Revenue from non-mortgage products of $25.6 million in the third quarter represents an increase of 175% over the third quarter 2014 and now comprises 37% of total revenue.
  • Included in the non-mortgage results, revenue from our personal loans offering grew to $15.6 million, up 325% over third quarter 2014 and up 35% sequentially.
  • Also included in non-mortgage, revenue from our credit cards product grew to $2.7 million from $0.4 million in the prior quarter.
  • Enrollment growth in My LendingTree continued, as more than 2 million consumers have now joined the My LendingTree personalization platform. Notably, we achieved the second million users in approximately half the time it took to obtain the first million.

 

LendingTree Selected Financial Metrics

(In millions, except per share amounts)

                       
         

Q/Q

       

Y/Y

 
 

Q3 2015

 

Q2 2015

 

% Change

   

Q3 2014

 

% Change

 

Revenue by Product

                     

Mortgage Products (1)

$

44.2

   

$

37.2

   

19

%

   

$

32.0

   

38

%

 

Non-Mortgage Products (2)

25.6

   

17.9

   

43

%

   

9.3

   

175

%

 

Total Revenue

$

69.8

   

$

55.1

   

27

%

   

$

41.3

   

69

%

 

Non-Mortgage % of Total

37

%

 

32

%

       

23

%

     
                       

Selling and Marketing Expense

                     

Exchanges Marketing Expense (3)

$

45.5

   

$

33.7

   

35

%

   

$

24.6

   

85

%

 

Other Marketing

3.4

   

3.2

   

6

%

   

2.6

   

31

%

 

Selling and Marketing Expense

$

48.9

   

$

36.9

   

33

%

   

$

27.2

   

80

%

 
                       

Variable Marketing Margin (4)

$

24.3

   

$

21.4

   

14

%

   

$

16.7

   

46

%

 

Variable Marketing Margin % of Revenue

35

%

 

39

%

       

40

%

     
                       

Net Income from Continuing Operations

$

7.4

   

$

6.4

   

16

%

   

$

0.6

   

1133

%

 

Net Income from Cont. Ops. % of Revenue

11

%

 

12

%

       

1

%

     
                       

Net Income per Share from Cont. Ops.

                     

Basic

$

0.65

   

$

0.57

   

14

%

   

$

0.05

   

1200

%

 

Diluted

$

0.59

   

$

0.52

   

13

%

   

$

0.05

   

1080

%

 
                       

Adjusted EBITDA (5)

$

11.0

   

$

8.9

   

24

%

   

$

5.8

   

90

%

 

Adjusted EBITDA % of Revenue (5)

16

%

 

16

%

       

14

%

     
                       

Adjusted Net Income (5)

$

9.8

   

$

7.8

   

26

%

   

$

4.9

   

100

%

 
                       

Adjusted Net Income per Share (5)

$

0.79

   

$

0.63

   

25

%

   

$

0.41

   

93

%

 
                       
   

(1)

Includes the purchase mortgage, refinance mortgage and rate table products.

(2)

Includes the home equity, reverse mortgage, personal loan, credit card, small business loan, student loan, auto loan, education, home services, insurance and personal credit products.

(3)

Defined as the portion of selling and marketing expense attributable to variable costs paid for advertising, direct marketing and related expenses, which excludes overhead, fixed costs and personnel-related expenses.

(4)

Defined as revenue minus Exchanges marketing expense and is considered an operating metric.

(5)

Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA % of revenue, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are non-GAAP measures.  Please see "LendingTree's Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures to GAAP" and "LendingTree's Principles of Financial Reporting" below for more information.

 

Third Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights

  • Record total revenue in the third quarter 2015 of $69.8 million represents an increase of $28.5 million, or 69%, over revenue in the third quarter 2014.
  • Record Variable Marketing Margin of $24.3 million represents an increase of $7.6 million, or 46%, over third quarter 2014. At 35% of revenue, this reflects an increased investment in brand-building television advertising.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $11.0 million increased $5.2 million, or 90%, over third quarter 2014.
  • Adjusted Net Income per Share of $0.79 represents an increase of $0.38, or 93%, over third quarter 2014.
  • Working capital increased to $95.1 million at September 30, 2015, compared with $88.7 million at June 30, 2015. Working capital is calculated as current assets (including unrestricted and restricted cash) minus current liabilities (including loan loss reserves).
  • On October 22, 2015, the company entered into a credit agreement providing for a five-year $125 million senior secured revolving credit facility to finance potential acquisitions and other growth initiatives, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes.

Business Outlook - 2015 & 2016

LendingTree is increasing Revenue, Variable Marketing Margin and Adjusted EBITDA guidance for full-year 2015 and issuing full-year 2016 guidance, as follows:

For full-year 2015:

  • Revenue is now anticipated to be $244 - $247 million, or 46% - 48% over full-year 2014, an increase from previous guidance of $225 - $230 million. This implies fourth quarter revenue of $68.1 - $71.1 million
  • Variable Marketing Margin is now anticipated to be in the range of $89 - $91 million, an increase of 37% - 40% over full-year 2014 and up from previous guidance of $86 - $89 million. This implies fourth quarter variable marketing margin of $22 - $24 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is now anticipated to be in the range of $38.3 - $38.8 million, implying year-over-year growth of 75% - 78%, an increase from previous guidance of $35 - $36 million. This implies fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $9.5 - $10.0 million.

For full-year 2016:

  • Revenue is anticipated to be in the range of $315 - $320 million, or 28% - 30% over the midpoint of FY 2015 guidance.
  • Variable Marketing Margin is anticipated to be $108 - $112 million, an increase of 20% - 24% over the midpoint of FY 2015 guidance.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be in the range of $50 - $52 million, implying year-over-year growth of 30% - 35% compared to the midpoint of FY 2015 guidance.

Quarterly Conference Call

A conference call to discuss LendingTree's third quarter 2015 financial results will be webcast live today, October 26, 2015 at 8:00 AM Eastern Time (ET). The live audiocast is open to the public and will be available on LendingTree's investor relations website at http://investors.lendingtree.com/. The call may also be accessed toll-free via phone at (877) 606-1416. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial (707) 287-9313. Following completion of the call, a recorded replay of the webcast will be available on LendingTree's investor relations website until 11:59 PM ET on Saturday, October 31, 2015. To listen to the telephone replay, call toll-free (855) 859-2056 with passcode #60717703. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial (404) 537-3406 with passcode #60717703.

 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Unaudited)

 
 

Three Months Ended
September 30,

 

Nine Months Ended
September 30,

 

2015

 

2014

 

2015

 

2014

 

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Revenue

$

69,804

   

$

41,306

   

$

175,875

   

$

123,486

 

Costs and expenses:

             

Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation) (1)

2,436

   

2,110

   

6,402

   

5,670

 

Selling and marketing expense (1)

48,901

   

27,168

   

118,615

   

83,581

 

General and administrative expense (1)

7,069

   

6,590

   

21,336

   

18,201

 

Product development (1)

2,675

   

1,658

   

7,238

   

5,416

 

Depreciation

764

   

840

   

2,135

   

2,541

 

Amortization of intangibles

25

   

41

   

124

   

96

 

Restructuring and severance

28

   

7

   

422

   

232

 

Litigation settlements and contingencies

133

   

2,338

   

(663)

   

10,430

 

Total costs and expenses

62,031

   

40,752

   

155,609

   

126,167

 

Operating income (loss)

7,773

   

554

   

20,266

   

(2,681)

 

Other income (expense), net:

             

Interest expense

(1)

   

(1)

   

(63)

   

(1)

 

Income (loss) before income taxes

7,772

   

553

   

20,203

   

(2,682)

 

Income tax (expense) benefit

(389)

   

2

   

(968)

   

86

 

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

7,383

   

555

   

19,235

   

(2,596)

 

Loss from discontinued operations

(1,295)

   

(174)

   

(3,238)

   

(3,679)

 

Net income (loss)

$

6,088

   

$

381

   

$

15,997

   

$

(6,275)

 
               

Weighted average shares outstanding:

             

Basic

11,445

   

11,182

   

11,378

   

11,180

 

Diluted

12,489

   

11,836

   

12,379

   

11,180

 

Income (loss) per share from continuing operations:

             

Basic

$

0.65

   

$

0.05

   

$

1.69

   

$

(0.23)

 

Diluted

$

0.59

   

$

0.05

   

$

1.55

   

$

(0.23)

 

Loss per share from discontinued operations:

             

Basic

$

(0.11)

   

$

(0.02)

   

$

(0.28)

   

$

(0.33)

 

Diluted

$

(0.10)

   

$

(0.01)

   

$

(0.26)

   

$

(0.33)

 

Net income (loss) per share:

             

Basic

$

0.53

   

$

0.03

   

$

1.41

   

$

(0.56)

 

Diluted

$

0.49

   

$

0.03

   

$

1.29

   

$

(0.56)

 

(1)  Amounts include non-cash compensation, as follows:

             

Cost of revenue

$

24

   

$

11

   

$

68

   

$

24

 

Selling and marketing expense

425

   

205

   

1,080

   

664

 

General and administrative expense

1,178

   

1,292

   

3,909

   

3,281

 

Product development

351

   

278

   

1,176

   

854

 

 

 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 
 

(Unaudited)

   
 

September 30,
2015

 

December 31,
2014

 

(in thousands, except par value and share amounts)

ASSETS:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

$

106,251

   

$

86,212

 

Restricted cash and cash equivalents

18,621

   

18,716

 

Accounts receivable, net

25,181

   

13,611

 

Prepaid and other current assets

1,708

   

931

 

Current assets of discontinued operations

289

   

189

 

Total current assets

152,050

   

119,659

 

Property and equipment, net

7,959

   

5,257

 

Goodwill

3,632

   

3,632

 

Intangible assets, net

11,017

   

11,141

 

Other non-current assets

126

   

102

 

Non-current assets of discontinued operations

   

100

 

Total assets

$

174,784

   

$

139,891

 
       

LIABILITIES:

     

Accounts payable, trade

$

6,245

   

$

1,060

 

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

36,174

   

25,521

 

Current liabilities of discontinued operations

14,529

   

12,055

 

Total current liabilities

56,948

   

38,636

 

Other non-current liabilities

273

   

 

Deferred income taxes

4,738

   

4,738

 

Non-current liabilities of discontinued operations

31

   

151

 

Total liabilities

61,990

   

43,525

 

SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY:

     

Preferred stock $.01 par value; 5,000,000 shares authorized; none issued or outstanding

   

 

Common stock $.01 par value; 50,000,000 shares authorized; 13,013,767 and 12,854,517 shares issued, respectively, and 11,540,240 and 11,386,240 shares outstanding, respectively

130

   

129

 

Additional paid-in capital

910,399

   

909,751

 

Accumulated deficit

(782,174)

   

(798,171)

 

Treasury stock 1,473,527 and 1,468,277 shares, respectively

(15,561)

   

(15,343)

 

Total shareholders' equity

112,794

   

96,366

 

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

174,784

   

$

139,891

 

 

 

LENDINGTREE'S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP

 

Below is a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income to net income from continuing operations, adjusted EBITDA % of revenue to net income from continuing operations % of revenue and adjusted net income per share to net income per diluted share from continuing operations.  See "LendingTree's Principles of Financial Reporting" for further discussion of the Company's use of these non-GAAP measures.

 
 

Three Months Ended

 

September 30,
2015

June 30,
2015

September 30,
2014

       

Adjusted EBITDA

$

10,999

 

$

8,902

 

$

5,791

 

Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue

16

%

16

%

14

%

Adjustments to reconcile to net income from continuing operations:

     

Depreciation

(764)

 

(717)

 

(840)

 

Amortization of intangibles

(25)

 

(37)

 

(41)

 

Interest expense

(1)

 

(64)

 

(1)

 

Income tax (expense) benefit

(389)

 

(272)

 

2

 

Adjusted net income

9,820

 

7,812

 

4,911

 
       

Non-cash compensation

(1,978)

 

(1,919)

 

(1,786)

 

Loss on disposal of assets

(64)

 

(10)

 

(185)

 

Estimated settlement for unclaimed property

 

(134)

 

 

Acquisition expense

(234)

 

 

(40)

 

Restructuring and severance

(28)

 

(388)

 

(7)

 

Litigation settlements and contingencies (1)

(133)

 

1,078

 

(2,338)

 

Net income from continuing operations

$

7,383

 

$

6,439

 

$

555

 

Net income from continuing operations % of revenue

11

%

12

%

1

%

       

Adjusted net income per share

$

0.79

 

$

0.63

 

$

0.41

 

Adjustments to reconcile adjusted net income to net income from continuing operations

$

(0.20)

 

$

(0.11)

 

$

(0.36)

 

Adjustments to reconcile effect of dilutive securities

$

 

$

 

$

 

Net income per diluted share from continuing operations

$

0.59

 

$

0.52

 

$

0.05

 
       

Adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding

12,489

 

12,334

 

11,836

 

Effect of dilutive securities

 

 

 

Weighted average diluted shares outstanding

12,489

 

12,334

 

11,836

 

Effect of dilutive securities

1,044

 

952

 

654

 

Weighted average basic shares outstanding

11,445

 

11,382

 

11,182

 
   

(1)

Includes legal fees for certain patent litigation.

 

LENDINGTREE'S PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL REPORTING

LendingTree reports Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, as adjusted for certain items discussed below ("Adjusted EBITDA"), Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share as supplemental measures to GAAP.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue are primary metrics by which LendingTree evaluates the operating performance of its businesses, on which its marketing expenditures and internal budgets are based and, in the case of adjusted EBITDA, by which management and many employees are compensated. LendingTree believes that investors should have access to the same set of tools that it uses in analyzing its results. LendingTree believes that adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are useful financial indicators that provide a different view of the financial performance of the Company than adjusted EBITDA (the primary metric by which LendingTree evaluates the operating performance of its businesses) and the GAAP measures of net income (loss) from continuing operations and GAAP income (loss) per diluted share.

Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share supplement GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations and GAAP income (loss) per diluted share by enabling investors to make period to period comparisons of those components of the nearest comparable GAAP measures that management believes better reflect the underlying financial performance of the Company's business operations during particular financial reporting periods. Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share exclude certain amounts, such as non-cash compensation, non-cash asset impairment charges, gain/loss on disposal of assets, restructuring and severance, litigation settlements, contingencies and legal fees for certain patent litigation, and acquisition expenses, which are recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but which might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded.

These non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. LendingTree provides and encourages investors to examine the reconciling adjustments between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures set forth above. LendingTree is not able to provide a reconciliation of projected adjusted EBITDA to expected reported results due to the unknown effect, timing and potential significance of the effects of the wind-down of discontinued operations and tax considerations.

Definition of LendingTree's Non-GAAP Measures

EBITDA is defined as operating income or loss (which excludes interest expense and taxes) excluding amortization of intangibles and depreciation.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA excluding (1) non-cash compensation expense, (2) non-cash asset impairment charges, (3) gain/loss on disposal of assets, (4) restructuring and severance expenses, (5) litigation settlements, contingencies and legal fees for certain patent litigation, (6) adjustments for acquisitions or dispositions, and (7) one-time items.

Adjusted net income is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations excluding (1) non-cash compensation expense, (2) non-cash asset impairment charges, (3) gain/loss on disposal of assets, (4) restructuring and severance expenses, (5) litigation settlements, contingencies and legal fees for certain patent litigation, (6) adjustments for acquisitions or dispositions, and (7) one-time items.

Adjusted net income per share is defined as adjusted net income divided by the adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding.  In cases where the Company reported GAAP losses from continuing operations, the effects of potentially dilutive securities are excluded from the calculation of net loss per diluted share from continuing operations because their inclusion would have been anti-dilutive.  In such instances where the Company reports GAAP net loss from continuing operations but reports positive non-GAAP adjusted net income, the effects of potentially dilutive securities are included in the denominator for calculating adjusted net income per share.

LendingTree endeavors to compensate for the limitations of these non-GAAP measures by also providing the comparable GAAP measures with equal or greater prominence and descriptions of the reconciling items, including quantifying such items, to derive the non-GAAP measures.  These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.

One-Time Items

Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income are adjusted for one-time items, if applicable. Items are considered one-time in nature if they are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual, and have not occurred in the past two years or are not expected to recur in the next two years, in accordance with SEC rules. For the periods presented in this report, there are no adjustments for one-time items, except for $0.1 million related to an estimated settlement for unclaimed property in the second quarter 2015.

Non-Cash Expenses That Are Excluded From LendingTree's Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income

Non-cash compensation expense consists principally of expense associated with the grants of restricted stock, restricted stock units and stock options. These expenses are not paid in cash and LendingTree includes the related shares in its calculations of fully diluted shares outstanding. Upon settlement of restricted stock units, exercise of certain stock options or vesting of restricted stock awards, the awards may be settled on a net basis, with LendingTree remitting the required tax withholding amounts from its current funds.

Amortization of intangibles are non-cash expenses relating primarily to acquisitions. At the time of an acquisition, the intangible assets of the acquired company, such as purchase agreements, technology and customer relationships, are valued and amortized over their estimated lives.  Amortization of intangibles are only excluded from Adjusted EBITDA.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

The matters contained in the discussion above may be considered to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations or anticipations of LendingTree and members of our management team. Factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include the following: adverse conditions in the primary and secondary mortgage markets and in the economy, particularly interest rates; willingness of lenders to make unsecured personal loans and purchase leads for such products from the Company; seasonality of results; potential liabilities to secondary market purchasers; changes in the Company's relationships with network lenders; breaches of network security or the misappropriation or misuse of personal consumer information; failure to provide competitive service; failure to maintain brand recognition; ability to attract and retain customers in a cost-effective manner; ability to develop new products and services and enhance existing ones; competition; allegations of failure to comply with existing or changing laws, rules or regulations, or to obtain and maintain required licenses; failure of network lenders or other affiliated parties to comply with regulatory requirements; failure to maintain the integrity of systems and infrastructure; liabilities as a result of privacy regulations; failure to adequately protect intellectual property rights or allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights; and changes in management. These and additional factors to be considered are set forth under "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2014 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2015, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results or expectations.

About LendingTree, Inc.

LendingTree, Inc. (TREE) operates the nation's leading online loan marketplace and provides consumers with an array of online tools and information to help them find the best loans for their needs.  LendingTree's online marketplace connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loans and credit-based offerings.  Since its inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 55 million loan requests.  LendingTree provides access to lenders offering home loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, reverse mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, small business loans, credit cards, student loans and more.

LendingTree, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and maintains operations solely in the United States. For more information, please visit www.lendingtree.com.

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