Banking

LendingTree swings to a profit in the 4th quarter

Doug Lebda, CEO of Ballantyne-based LendingTree, which on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $15.6 million, compared with a loss of $202,000 a year ago, as it boosted its revenue and saw lower legal expenses.
Doug Lebda, CEO of Ballantyne-based LendingTree, which on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $15.6 million, compared with a loss of $202,000 a year ago, as it boosted its revenue and saw lower legal expenses. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Ballantyne-based LendingTree said Wednesday it made a profit of $15.6 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $202,000 a year ago, as it boosted its revenue and saw lower legal expenses.

LendingTree, which matches borrowers with lenders offering various types of loans, said it recorded record revenue of $43.9 million in the recent fourth quarter, up 21 percent from the same quarter last year. Revenue was higher for both types of products the company offers: mortgage loans and non-mortgage loans.

The company’s profitability in the quarter was also helped by a drop in legal costs. Last year, the company’s legal expenses were higher as it sued competitors in a patent case. Legal costs in the recent fourth quarter fell to $188,000, down 91 percent from a year ago.

The fourth quarter marks the last quarter in which the company went by the name Tree.com. In January, it began going by the name LendingTree, the brand for its signature service that pairs customers with mortgage and other types of lenders. CEO Doug Lebda has said the name change will allow the company to emphasize the well-known LendingTree name.

LendingTree employs roughly 200 at its headquarters.

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