U.S. Markets closed

Tinder helps Match swipe right on revenue, user adds

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Tinder-owner Match Group Inc beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as more users signed up on its online dating platforms.

The owner of OkCupid and PlentyOfFish said average subscribers at September-end rose 19% to 9.6 million from a year ago, including a rise of about 29% subscribers in its international markets.

Tinder -- which has made "swipe left" and "swipe right" a point of pop culture conversations - added 437,000 average subscribers in the quarter bringing its total average subscriber count to 5.7 million.

The results come at a time when Match faces stiff competition from rivals, including Facebook Inc's recently launched dating service in the United States, and amidst a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint related to the company's certain marketing-related claims.

Last month, parent IAC/InterActiveCorp said it intends to spin off its ownership stake in Match Group resulting in the full separation of the two companies.

Match on Tuesday said it expects spin-off related expense to be about $10 million in fiscal 2020.

To fend off competition, the company has boosted its marketing spend on its money-spinner Tinder in emerging markets, including India and Latin America, as well as its other dating services, PlentyOfFish and Hinge.

Match's total operating expenses rose about 20% to $364.9 million in the quarter.

Total revenue rose 22% to $541.5 million in the third quarter, edging past analysts' estimates of about $540.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

However, for the current quarter the company expects total revenue between $545 million and $555 million, below analysts' estimate of $559.3 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company's net earnings attributable to Match Group shareholders rose to $151.5 million, or 51 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, from $130.2 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)