Banking

Shares of Charlotte-based LendingTree are soaring again after latest earnings report

Charlotte-based LendingTree, led by CEO Doug Lebda, reported record quarterly revenue Thursday.
Charlotte-based LendingTree, led by CEO Doug Lebda, reported record quarterly revenue Thursday.

LendingTree shares climbed as much as 20 percent Thursday after the Charlotte-based company reported record third-quarter revenue and increased projections for the full year.

The online matchmaker between consumers and lenders said total revenue increased 81 percent from a year ago to $171.1 million. For the full year, LendingTree said it expects revenue between $603 to $608 million, up from previous guidance of between $580 and $590 million.

By the end of trading, LendingTree shares had closed up more than 15 percent at $255.40. Since the November election, the company’s shares have been among the best-performing of all stocks, soaring more than 200 percent.

Overall, Thursday was a positive for the markets, led by banks and technology companies. Shares of Charlotte-based Bank of America, for example, rose .4 percent to $27.74, the highest they have been since October 2008.

Net income in the third quarter was $10.1 million, up from $7.3 million a year ago. Adjusted net income per share was $1.17, compared with the 92 cents per share estimated by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

“We believe the momentum in the third quarter sets us up well for exceptional growth and profitability in 2018 and beyond,” LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda said in a statement.

The stock resurgence is the latest milestone for a company that has experienced a roller-coaster history since Lebda founded it in 1996.

The company nearly flamed out during the dot-com bust in 2001, became part of an internet conglomerate in 2003 and emerged as a standalone company again in 2008 – just in time for the recession. In recent years, it has been expanding beyond just mortgage-related products.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

  Comments