LendingTree Shares Rally 16% After Earnings Beat And Upbeat Outlook

By Ciara LinnaneMarketWatch Pulse

LendingTree Inc. shares rallied 16% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company beat profit and revenue estimates for the fourth quarter and offered upbeat guidance. The online lender said it had net income of $32.1 million, or $2.47 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $15.6 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.47. The adjusted number benefited from a $23.9 million tax benefit. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 56 cents. Revenue rose to $78.3 million from $69.8 million, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $76.3 million. Chief Executive Doug Lebda said the company saw growth in all lending categories, including from new products. Looking ahead, the company is expecting first-quarter revenue to range from $85 million to $87 million, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $75.7 million. The company's board has added $40 million to the company's share buyback program. Shares have gained about 49% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 9%.

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