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Nomura: Don't Break Up With Match Group Over FTC Lawsuit

Dave Royse

Investors should consider giving Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH) some love, another sell-side analyst said Monday, predicting a federal lawsuit over its marketing won’t cause any long-term heartbreak.

The Analyst

Nomura Instinet’s Mark Kelley upgraded Match Group from Neutral to Buy and boosted the target price from $81 to $88.

The Thesis

Kelley echoed other recent analyses in saying a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against Match Group may present a buying opportunity.

Match Group, which runs several dating sites, including Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish, was sued last month by the Federal Trade Commission, which alleges the company fraudulently got people to sign up with “fake love interest advertisements,” and that its cancellation requirements were too difficult.

Match.com has said the suit is based on “completely meritless allegations,” but the stock traded off after the news.

“We think the downside is relatively limited as the company has already removed some of the features in question, and a (possible) $60 million penalty would be insignificant,” Kelley wrote in an upgrade note.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently reiterated a Buy on the stock suggesting the same.

Other Factors

Match also could see benefits from the removal of a platform fee for Android users, new expansion of some Match brands in Asia, and several other new brands aimed at specific demographics.

Price Action

Shares of Match Group were trading up 3.31% on Monday to $76.89.

Related Links

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Latest Ratings for MTCH

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2019 Upgrades Neutral Buy
Oct 2019 Upgrades Hold Buy
Sep 2019 Upgrades In-Line Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for MTCH
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