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LendingTree Reports Fourth Quarter 2019 Results | State / Regional

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE), operator of LendingTree.com, the nation’s leading online financial services marketplace, today announced results for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

“The fourth quarter capped off another remarkable year at LendingTree,” said Doug Lebda, Chairman and CEO.  “Our expansion into insurance has been incredibly successful, and we have continued to drive market share gains across a number of other categories. Strategically, our evolution into a market-leading financial wellness platform is well under way, and we look forward to accelerating those efforts in 2020 as we scale the prominence of My LendingTree and optimize the consumer value proposition across our portfolio of offerings.”

J.D. Moriarty, CFO added “We’re thrilled with all that we accomplished in 2019, and the trends across many of our businesses remain strong as we execute against our strategic plan for 2020. We’re increasingly looking for new ways to delight and engage the consumer, and the year is off to an excellent start.”

Fourth Quarter 2019 Business Highlights 

  • Insurance revenue of $70.9 million grew 37% over fourth quarter 2018 on a pro forma basis and translated into Insurance segment profit of $28.0 million.
  • Home segment profit of $26.9 million grew 25% over fourth quarter 2018.
    • Within Home, mortgage products revenue grew 16% over the prior year period.
  • Consumer segment revenue of $113.4 million grew 15% over fourth quarter 2018, driven by strong revenue growth in credit card and small business.
    • Within Consumer, credit card revenue of $45.9 million grew 20% year-over-year.
    • Personal loans revenue of $35.2 million grew 5% year-over-year.
    • Small business revenue grew 61% year-over-year.
  • More than 14.3 million consumers have now signed up for My LendingTree. Revenue contribution from My LendingTree of $20.1 million was up 29% year-over-year.  Average monthly active users grew 27% over the fourth quarter 2018.

 

LendingTree Selected Financial Metrics

(In millions, except per share amounts)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Y/Y

Three Months Ended
September 30,

Q/Q

2019

2018

% Change

2019

% Change

Total revenue

$

255.2

$

202.7

26

%

$

310.6

(18)

%

Income (loss) before income taxes

$

4.5

$

(1.6)

%

26.4

(83)

%

Income tax (expense) benefit

(3.1)

1.9

%

(1.9)

63

%

Net income from continuing operations

$

1.5

$

0.3

400

%

$

24.5

(94)

%

Net income from continuing operations 
% of revenue

1

%

%

8

%

Income per share from continuing operations

Basic

$

0.11

$

0.02

450

%

$

1.90

(94)

%

Diluted

$

0.10

$

0.02

400

%

$

1.67

(94)

%

Variable marketing margin

Total revenue

$

255.2

$

202.7

26

%

$

310.6

(18)

%

Variable marketing expense (1) (2)

$

(161.4)

$

(124.1)

30

%

$

(195.0)

(17)

%

Variable marketing margin (2)

$

93.8

$

78.6

19

%

$

115.6

(19)

%


Variable marketing margin % of revenue
(2)

37

%

39

%

37

%

Adjusted EBITDA (2)

$

45.9

$

39.4

17

%

$

63.0

(27)

%

Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue (2)

18

%

19

%

20

%

Adjusted net income (2)

$

16.3

$

16.7

(2)

%

$

32.9

(50)

%

Adjusted net income per share (2)

$

1.12

$

1.22

(8)

%

$

2.25

(50)

%

(1)

Represents the portion of selling and marketing expense attributable to variable costs paid for advertising, direct marketing and related
expenses. Also includes the portion of cost of revenue attributable to costs paid for advertising re-sold to third parties. Excludes
overhead, fixed costs and personnel-related expenses.

(2)

Variable marketing expense, variable marketing margin, variable marketing margin % of revenue, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted
EBITDA % of revenue, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are non-GAAP measures. Please see “LendingTree’s
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures to GAAP” and “LendingTree’s Principles of Financial Reporting” below for more information.

 

LendingTree Segment Results

(In millions)

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Y/Y

Three Months Ended
September 30,

Q/Q

2019

2018

% Change

2019

% Change

Home (1)

Revenue

$

65.5

$

63.3

3

%

$

77.3

(15)

%

Segment profit

$

26.9

$

21.6

25

%

$

28.1

(4)

%

Segment profit % of revenue

41

%

34

%

36

%

Consumer (2)

Revenue

$

113.4

$

98.2

15

%

$

151.9

(25)

%

Segment profit

$

43.3

$

47.8

(9)

%

$

65.2

(34)

%

Segment profit % of revenue

38

%

49

%

43

%

Insurance (3)

Revenue

$

70.9

$

31.3

127

%

$

74.8

(5)

%

Segment profit

$

28.0

$

11.3

148

%

$

30.0

(7)

%

Segment profit % of revenue

39

%

36

%

40

%

Other Category (4)

Revenue

$

5.4

$

9.9

(45)

%

$

6.6

(18)

%

(Loss) Profit

$

(0.1)

$

0.8

%

$

0.4

%

Total revenue

$

255.2

$

202.7

26

%

$

310.6

(18)

%

Total segment profit

$

98.1

$

81.5

20

%

$

123.7

(21)

%

     Brand marketing expense (5)

$

(4.2)

$

(3.0)

40

%

$

(8.1)

(48)

%

Variable marketing margin

$

93.8

$

78.6

19

%

$

115.6

(19)

%

Variable marketing margin % of revenue

37

%

39

%

37

%

(1)

The Home segment includes the following products: purchase mortgage, refinance mortgage, home equity loans and lines of credit,
reverse mortgage loans, and real estate.

(2)

The Consumer segment includes the following products: credit cards, personal loans, small business loans, student loans, auto loans,
deposit accounts, and other credit products such as credit repair and debt settlement.

(3)

The Insurance segment consists of insurance quote products.

(4)

The Other category includes revenue from the resale of online advertising space to third parties and revenue from home improvement
referrals, and the related variable marketing and advertising expenses.

(5)

Brand marketing expense represents the portion of selling and marketing expense attributable to variable costs paid for advertising,
direct marketing and related expenses that are not assignable to the segments’ products. This measure excludes overhead, fixed costs
and personnel-related expenses.

 

Business Outlook – 2020

LendingTree is providing revenue, variable marketing margin and adjusted EBITDA guidance for the first quarter of 2020 and maintaining guidance for full year 2020, as follows:

For first quarter 2020:

  • Revenue is expected in the range of $296$306 million.
  • Variable marketing margin is expected in the range of $97$104 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is expected in the range of $43$46 million.

For full year 2020:

  • Revenue is expected in the range of $1,250$1,300 million, representing growth of 13% – 17% over full-year 2019.
  • Variable marketing margin is expected in the range of $450$470 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is expected in the range of $225$235 million, up 14% – 19% over full-year 2019.

LendingTree is not able to provide a reconciliation of projected variable marketing margin or adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable expected GAAP results due to the unknown effect, timing and potential significance of the effects of legal matters, tax considerations, and income and expense from changes in fair value of contingent consideration from acquisitions. Expenses associated with legal matters, tax consequences, and income and expense from changes in fair value of contingent consideration from acquisitions have in the past, and may in the future, significantly affect GAAP results in a particular period.

Quarterly Conference Call

A conference call to discuss LendingTree’s fourth quarter 2019 financial results will be webcast live today, February 25, 2020 at 9:00 AM Eastern Time (ET). The live audiocast is open to the public and will be available on LendingTree’s investor relations website at http://investors.lendingtree.com/. The call may also be accessed toll-free via phone at (877) 606-1416. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial (707) 287-9313. Following completion of the call, a recorded replay of the webcast will be available on LendingTree’s investor relations website until 12:00 PM ET on Wednesday, March 04, 2020. To listen to the telephone replay, call toll-free (855) 859-2056 with passcode #6823567. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial (404) 537-3406 with passcode #6823567.

 

 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended
 December 31,

Twelve Months Ended
 December 31,

2019

2018

2019

2018

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Revenue

$

255,187

$

202,672

$

1,106,603

$

764,865

Costs and expenses:

Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown
separately below)
(1)

16,728

13,822

68,379

36,399

Selling and marketing expense (1)

167,842

125,901

735,180

500,291

General and administrative expense (1)

27,456

30,666

116,847

101,219

Product development (1)

9,412

8,123

39,953

26,958

Depreciation

3,261

2,186

10,998

7,385

Amortization of intangibles

13,756

9,840

55,241

23,468

Change in fair value of contingent consideration

7,181

9,591

28,402

10,788

Severance

390

21

1,026

2,352

Litigation settlements and contingencies

140

94

(151)

(186)

Total costs and expenses

246,166

200,244

1,055,875

708,674

Operating income

9,021

2,428

50,728

56,191

Other expense, net:

Interest expense, net

(4,863)

(4,132)

(20,271)

(12,437)

Other income (expense)

381

96

524

(10)

Income (Loss) before income taxes

4,539

(1,608)

30,981

43,744

Income tax (expense) benefit

(3,073)

1,859

8,479

65,575

Net income from continuing operations

1,466

251

39,460

109,319

Income (Loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax

392

(3,551)

(21,632)

(12,820)

Net income (loss) and comprehensive income (loss)

$

1,858

$

(3,300)

$

17,828

$

96,499

Weighted average shares outstanding:

Basic

12,921

12,700

12,834

12,504

Diluted

14,580

13,622

14,619

14,097

Income per share from continuing operations:

Basic

$

0.11

$

0.02

$

3.07

$

8.74

Diluted

$

0.10

$

0.02

$

2.70

$

7.75

Income (Loss) per share from discontinued operations:

Basic

$

0.03

$

(0.28)

$

(1.69)

$

(1.03)

Diluted

$

0.03

$

(0.26)

$

(1.48)

$

(0.91)

Net income (loss) per share:

Basic

$

0.14

$

(0.26)

$

1.39

$

7.72

Diluted

$

0.13

$

(0.24)

$

1.22

$

6.85

(1) Amounts include non-cash compensation, as follows:

Cost of revenue

$

197

$

118

$

755

$

378

Selling and marketing expense

918

(943)

5,785

3,568

General and administrative expense

8,643

8,708

39,177

34,325

Product development

1,577

2,098

6,450

6,094

 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)

December 31,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

(in thousands, except par value
and share amounts)

ASSETS:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

60,243

$

105,102

Restricted cash and cash equivalents

96

56

Accounts receivable, net

113,487

91,072

Prepaid and other current assets

15,516

16,428

Assets held for sale

21,328

Current assets of discontinued operations

84

185

Total current assets

189,426

234,171

Property and equipment, net

31,363

23,175

Goodwill

420,139

348,347

Intangible assets, net

181,580

205,699

Deferred income tax assets

87,664

79,289

Other non-current assets

29,849

2,168

Non-current assets of discontinued operations

7,948

3,266

Total assets

$

947,969

$

896,115

LIABILITIES:

Revolving credit facility

$

75,000

$

125,000

Accounts payable, trade

2,873

15,074

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

112,755

93,190

Current contingent consideration

9,028

11,080

Current liabilities of discontinued operations

31,050

17,609

Total current liabilities

230,706

261,953

Long-term debt

264,391

250,943

Non-current contingent consideration

24,436

27,757

Deferred income tax liabilities

894

Other non-current liabilities

26,110

8,360

Total liabilities

545,643

549,907

SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY:

Preferred stock $.01 par value; 5,000,000 shares authorized; none issued or outstanding

Common stock $.01 par value; 50,000,000 shares authorized; 15,676,819 and 15,428,351 shares
issued, respectively, and 13,035,501 and 12,809,764 shares outstanding, respectively

157

154

Additional paid-in capital

1,177,984

1,134,227

Accumulated deficit

(592,654)

(610,482)

Treasury stock; 2,641,318 and 2,618,587 shares, respectively

(183,161)

(177,691)

Total shareholders’ equity

402,326

346,208

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

$

947,969

$

896,115

 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Unaudited)

Year Ended December 31,

2019

2018

2017

(in thousands)

Cash flows from operating activities attributable to continuing operations:

Net income and comprehensive income

$

17,828

$

96,499

$

15,578

Less: Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax

21,632

12,820

3,840

Income from continuing operations

39,460

109,319

19,418

Adjustments to reconcile income from continuing operations to net cash provided by operating activities
attributable to continuing operations:

(Gain) Loss on impairments and disposal of fixed assets

(695)

2,210

840

Amortization of intangibles

55,241

23,468

12,992

Depreciation

10,998

7,385

7,085

Rental amortization of intangibles and depreciation

630

1,474

Non-cash compensation expense

52,167

44,365

23,361

Deferred income taxes

(8,555)

(63,901)

(6,370)

Change in fair value of contingent consideration

28,402

10,788

23,931

Bad debt expense

1,697

880

195

Amortization of debt issuance costs

1,974

1,776

1,032

Write-off of previously-capitalized debt issuance costs

333

90

Amortization of convertible debt discount

12,016

11,397

6,385

ROU asset amortization, offset by change in operating lease liabilities

213

Changes in current assets and liabilities:

Accounts receivable

(22,457)

(16,820)

(11,381)

Prepaid and other current assets

(3,258)

(2,985)

(5,358)

Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities

(2,322)

14,270

31,108

Current contingent consideration

(12,500)

(21,912)

Income taxes receivable

4,548

3,669

(1,104)

Other, net

(88)

(591)

(160)

Net cash provided by operating activities attributable to continuing operations

157,174

123,948

103,538

Cash flows from investing activities attributable to continuing operations:

Capital expenditures

(20,041)

(14,907)

(8,040)

Proceeds from the sale of fixed assets

24,077

Acquisition of intangible assets

(5)

Acquisition of ValuePenguin, net of cash acquired

(105,578)

Acquisition of QuoteWizard, net of cash acquired

482

(297,072)

Acquisition of Student Loan Hero, net of cash acquired

(59,483)

Acquisition of Ovation, net of cash acquired

(11,566)

Acquisition of SnapCap

(10)

(11,886)

Acquisition of DepositAccounts

(25,000)

Acquisition of MagnifyMoney, net of cash acquired

(29,504)

Net cash used in investing activities attributable to continuing operations

(101,060)

(383,038)

(74,435)

Cash flows from financing activities attributable to continuing operations:

Payments related to net-share settlement of stock-based compensation, net of proceeds from exercise of
stock options

(8,406)

2,217

1,602

Contingent consideration payments

(21,275)

(27,588)

Net (repayment of) proceeds from revolving credit facility

(50,000)

125,000

Acquisition of noncontrolling interest

(499)

Proceeds from the issuance of 0.625% Convertible Senior Notes

300,000

Payment of convertible note hedge transactions

(61,500)

Proceeds from the sale of warrants

43,410

Payment of debt issuance costs

(2,518)

(583)

(10,486)

Purchase of treasury stock

(5,470)

(93,704)

(19,901)

Other financing activities

(9)

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities attributable to continuing operations

(87,678)

4,843

253,125

Total cash (used in) provided by continuing operations

(31,564)

(254,247)

282,228

Discontinued operations:

Net cash used in operating activities attributable to discontinued operations

(13,255)

(13,236)

(4,807)

Total cash used in discontinued operations

(13,255)

(13,236)

(4,807)

Net (decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents

(44,819)

(267,483)

277,421

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents at beginning of period

105,158

372,641

95,220

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents at end of period

$

60,339

$

105,158

$

372,641

Non-cash investing activities:

Capital additions from tenant improvement allowance

1,111

Supplemental cash flow information:

Interest paid

7,005

3,593

1,327

Income tax payments

25

541

20,359

Income tax refunds

4,743

5,678

133

 

LENDINGTREE’S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP

Variable Marketing Expense

Below is a reconciliation of selling and marketing expense to variable marketing expense. See “Lending Tree’s Principles of Financial Reporting” for further discussion of the Company’s use of this non-GAAP measure.

 

Three Months Ended

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,
 2019

September 30,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

December 31,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

(in thousands)

Selling and marketing expense

$

167,842

$

200,818

$

125,901

$

735,180

$

500,291

Non-variable selling and marketing expense (1)

(11,036)

(11,580)

(6,985)

(47,000)

(30,343)

Cost of advertising re-sold to third parties (2)

4,557

5,809

5,184

22,755

8,812

Variable marketing expense

$

161,363

$

195,047

$

124,100

$

710,935

$

478,760

(1)

Represents the portion of selling and marketing expense not attributable to variable costs paid for advertising, direct
marketing and related expenses. Includes overhead, fixed costs and personnel-related expenses.

(2)

Represents the portion of cost of revenue attributable to costs paid for advertising re-sold to third parties. Excludes
overhead, fixed costs, and personnel-related expenses.

 

LENDINGTREE’S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP

Variable Marketing Margin

Below is a reconciliation of net income from continuing operations to variable marketing margin and net income from continuing operations % of revenue to variable marketing margin % of revenue. See “LendingTree’s Principles of Financial Reporting” for further discussion of the Company’s use of these non-GAAP measures.

 

Three Months Ended

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,
 2019

September 30,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

December 31,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

(in thousands, except percentages)

Net income from continuing operations

$

1,466

$

24,463

$

251

$

39,460

$

109,319

Net income from continuing operations % of revenue

1

%

8

%

%

4

%

14

%

Adjustments to reconcile to variable marketing margin:

Cost of revenue

16,728

17,671

13,822

68,379

36,399

Cost of advertising re-sold to third parties (1)

(4,557)

(5,809)

(5,184)

(22,755)

(8,812)

Non-variable selling and marketing expense (2)

11,036

11,580

6,985

47,000

30,343

General and administrative expense

27,456

30,323

30,666

116,847

101,219

Product development

9,412

10,200

8,123

39,953

26,958

Depreciation

3,261

2,696

2,186

10,998

7,385

Amortization of intangibles

13,756

13,778

9,840

55,241

23,468

Change in fair value of contingent consideration

7,181

3,839

9,591

28,402

10,788

Severance

390

179

21

1,026

2,352

Litigation settlements and contingencies

140

(92)

94

(151)

(186)

Interest expense, net

4,863

4,845

4,132

20,271

12,437

Other (income) expense

(381)

(4)

(96)

(524)

10

Income tax (benefit) expense

3,073

1,889

(1,859)

(8,479)

(65,575)

Variable marketing margin

$

93,824

$

115,558

$

78,572

$

395,668

$

286,105

Variable marketing margin % of revenue

37

%

37

%

39

%

36

%

37

%

(1)

Represents the portion of cost of revenue attributable to costs paid for advertising re-sold to third parties. Excludes overhead, fixed costs,
and personnel-related expenses.

(2)

Represents the portion of selling and marketing expense not attributable to variable costs paid for advertising, direct marketing and
related expenses. Includes overhead, fixed costs and personnel-related expenses.

 

LENDINGTREE’S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP

Adjusted EBITDA

Below is a reconciliation of net income from continuing operations to adjusted EBITDA and net income from continuing operations % of revenue to adjusted EBITDA % of revenue. See “LendingTree’s Principles of Financial Reporting” for further discussion of the Company’s use of these non-GAAP measures.

 

Three Months Ended

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,
 2019

September 30,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

December 31,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

(in thousands, except percentages)

Net income from continuing operations

$

1,466

$

24,463

$

251

$

39,460

$

109,319

Net income from continuing operations % of revenue

1

%

8

%

%

4

%

14

%

Adjustments to reconcile to adjusted EBITDA:

Amortization of intangibles

13,756

13,778

9,840

55,241

23,468

Depreciation

3,261

2,696

2,186

10,998

7,385

Severance

390

179

21

1,026

2,352

Loss (gain) on impairments and disposal of assets

424

609

224

(945)

2,210

Non-cash compensation

11,335

10,797

9,981

52,167

44,365

Change in fair value of contingent consideration

7,181

3,839

9,591

28,402

10,788

Acquisition expense

14

18

4,851

211

6,303

Litigation settlements and contingencies

140

(92)

94

(151)

(186)

Interest expense, net

4,863

4,845

4,132

20,271

12,437

Rental depreciation and amortization of intangibles

76

630

Income tax (benefit) expense

3,073

1,889

(1,859)

(8,479)

(65,575)

Adjusted EBITDA

$

45,903

$

63,021

$

39,388

$

198,201

$

153,496

Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue

18

%

20

%

19

%

18

%

20

%

 

LENDINGTREE’S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP

Adjusted Net Income

Below is a reconciliation of net income from continuing operations to adjusted net income and net income per diluted share from continuing operations to adjusted net income per share. See “LendingTree’s Principles of Financial Reporting” for further discussion of the Company’s use of these non-GAAP measures.

 

Three Months Ended

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,
 2019

September 30,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

December 31,
 2019

December 31,
 2018

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Net income from continuing operations

$

1,466

$

24,463

$

251

$

39,460

$

109,319

Adjustments to reconcile to adjusted net income:

Non-cash compensation

11,335

10,797

9,981

52,167

44,365

Loss (gain) on impairments and disposal of assets

424

609

224

(945)

2,210

Acquisition expense

14

18

4,851

211

6,303

Change in fair value of contingent consideration

7,181

3,839

9,591

28,402

10,788

Severance

390

179

21

1,026

2,352

Litigation settlements and contingencies

140

(92)

94

(151)

(186)

Income tax benefit from adjusted items

(4,087)

(4,132)

(5,917)

(20,694)

(17,208)

Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation

(516)

(2,816)

(2,417)

(17,058)

(77,608)

Adjusted net income

$

16,347

$

32,865

$

16,679

$

82,418

$

80,335

Net income per diluted share from continuing
operations

$

0.10

$

1.67

$

0.02

$

2.70

$

7.75

Adjustments to reconcile net income from continuing
operations to adjusted net income

1.02

0.58

1.20

2.94

(2.05)

Adjusted net income per share

$

1.12

$

2.25

$

1.22

$

5.64

$

5.70

Weighted average diluted shares outstanding

14,580

14,632

13,622

14,619

14,097

 

LENDINGTREE’S PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL REPORTING

LendingTree reports the following non-GAAP measures as supplemental to GAAP:

  • Variable marketing margin, including variable marketing expense
  • Variable marketing margin % of revenue
  • Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, as adjusted for certain items discussed below (“Adjusted EBITDA”)
  • Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue
  • Adjusted net income
  • Adjusted net income per share

Variable marketing margin is a measure of the efficiency of the Company’s operating model, measuring revenue after subtracting variable marketing and advertising costs that directly influence revenue. The Company’s operating model is highly sensitive to the amount and efficiency of variable marketing expenditures, and the Company’s proprietary systems are able to make rapidly changing decisions concerning the deployment of variable marketing expenditures (primarily but not exclusively online and mobile advertising placement) based on proprietary and sophisticated analytics. Variable marketing margin and variable marketing margin % of revenue are primary metrics by which the Company measures the effectiveness of its marketing efforts.

Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA % of revenue are primary metrics by which LendingTree evaluates the operating performance of its businesses, on which its marketing expenditures and internal budgets are based and, in the case of adjusted EBITDA, by which management and many employees are compensated.

Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share supplement GAAP income from continuing operations and GAAP income per diluted share from continuing operations by enabling investors to make period to period comparisons of those components of the nearest comparable GAAP measures that management believes better reflect the underlying financial performance of the Company’s business operations during particular financial reporting periods. Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share exclude certain amounts, such as non-cash compensation, non-cash asset impairment charges, gain/loss on disposal of assets, severance, litigation settlements and contingencies, acquisition and disposition income or expenses including with respect to changes in fair value of contingent consideration, one-time items which are recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but which might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded, the effects to income taxes of the aforementioned adjustments and any excess tax benefit or expense associated with stock-based compensation recorded in net income in conjunction with FASB pronouncement ASU 2016-09. LendingTree believes that adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are useful financial indicators that provide a different view of the financial performance of the Company than adjusted EBITDA (the primary metric by which LendingTree evaluates the operating performance of its businesses) and the GAAP measures of net income from continuing operations and GAAP income per diluted share from continuing operations.

These non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. LendingTree provides and encourages investors to examine the reconciling adjustments between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures set forth above.

Definition of LendingTree’s Non-GAAP Measures

Variable marketing margin is defined as revenue less variable marketing expense. Variable marketing expense is defined as the expense attributable to variable costs paid for advertising, direct marketing and related expenses, including the portion of cost of revenue attributable to costs paid for advertising re-sold to third parties, and excluding overhead, fixed costs and personnel-related expenses. The majority of these variable advertising costs are expressly intended to drive traffic to our websites and these variable advertising costs are included in selling and marketing expense on the company’s consolidated statements of operations and consolidated income. When advertising inventory is re-sold to third parties, the proceeds of such transactions are included in revenue for the purposes of calculating variable marketing margin, and the costs of such re-sold advertising are included in cost of revenue in the company’s consolidated statements of operations and consolidated income and are included in variable marketing expense for purposes of calculating variable marketing margin.

EBITDA is defined as net income from continuing operations excluding interest, income taxes, amortization of intangibles and depreciation.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA excluding (1) non-cash compensation expense, (2) non-cash impairment charges, (3) gain/loss on disposal of assets, (4) restructuring and severance expenses, (5) litigation settlements and contingencies, (6) acquisitions and dispositions income or expense (including with respect to changes in fair value of contingent consideration), and (7) one-time items.

Adjusted net income is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations excluding (1) non-cash compensation expense, (2) non-cash impairment charges, (3) gain/loss on disposal of assets, (4) restructuring and severance expenses, (5) litigation settlements and contingencies, (6) acquisitions and dispositions income or expense (including with respect to changes in fair value of contingent consideration), (7) one-time items, (8) the effects to income taxes of the aforementioned adjustments, and (9) any excess tax benefit or expense associated with stock-based compensation recorded in net income in conjunction with FASB pronouncement ASU 2016-09.

Adjusted net income per share is defined as adjusted net income divided by the adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding. For periods which the Company reports GAAP loss from continuing operations, the effects of potentially dilutive securities are excluded from the calculation of net loss per diluted share from continuing operations because their inclusion would have been anti-dilutive. In periods where the Company reports GAAP loss from continuing operations but reports positive non-GAAP adjusted net income, the effects of potentially dilutive securities are included in the denominator for calculating adjusted net income per share.

LendingTree endeavors to compensate for the limitations of these non-GAAP measures by also providing the comparable GAAP measures with equal or greater prominence and descriptions of the reconciling items, including quantifying such items, to derive the non-GAAP measures. These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.

One-Time Items

Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income are adjusted for one-time items, if applicable. Items are considered one-time in nature if they are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual, and have not occurred in the past two years or are not expected to recur in the next two years, in accordance with SEC rules. For the periods presented in this report, there are no adjustments for one-time items.

Non-Cash Expenses That Are Excluded From LendingTree’s Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income

Non-cash compensation expense consists principally of expense associated with the grants of restricted stock, restricted stock units and stock options. These expenses are not paid in cash and LendingTree includes the related shares in its calculations of fully diluted shares outstanding. Upon settlement of restricted stock units, exercise of certain stock options or vesting of restricted stock awards, the awards may be settled on a net basis, with LendingTree remitting the required tax withholding amounts from its current funds. Cash expenditures for employer payroll taxes on non-cash compensation are included within adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income.

Amortization of intangibles are non-cash expenses relating primarily to acquisitions. At the time of an acquisition, the intangible assets of the acquired company, such as purchase agreements, technology and customer relationships, are valued and amortized over their estimated lives.  Amortization of intangibles are only excluded from adjusted EBITDA.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

The matters contained in the discussion above may be considered to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations or anticipations of LendingTree and members of our management team. Factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include the following: adverse conditions in the primary and secondary mortgage markets and in the economy, particularly interest rates; default rates on loans, particularly unsecured loans; demand by investors for unsecured personal loans; the effect of such demand on interest rates for personal loans and consumer demand for personal loans; seasonality of results; potential liabilities to secondary market purchasers; changes in the Company’s relationships with network partners, including dependence on certain key network partners; breaches of network security or the misappropriation or misuse of personal consumer information; failure to provide competitive service; failure to maintain brand recognition; ability to attract and retain consumers in a cost-effective manner; the effects of potential acquisitions of other businesses, including the ability to integrate them successfully with LendingTree’s existing operations; accounting rules related to contingent consideration and excess tax benefits or expenses on stock-based compensation that could materially affect earnings in future periods; ability to develop new products and services and enhance existing ones; competition; allegations of failure to comply with existing or changing laws, rules or regulations, or to obtain and maintain required licenses; failure of network partners or other affiliated parties to comply with regulatory requirements; failure to maintain the integrity of systems and infrastructure; liabilities as a result of privacy regulations; failure to adequately protect intellectual property rights or allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights; and changes in management. These and additional factors to be considered are set forth under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2018, in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2019, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. LendingTree undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results or expectations.

About LendingTree, Inc.

LendingTree, Inc. is the parent of LendingTree, LLC and several companies owned by LendingTree, LLC (collectively, “LendingTree” or the “Company”).

LendingTree operates what it believes to be the leading online consumer platform that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. The Company offers consumers tools and resources, including free credit scores, that facilitate comparison-shopping for mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, reverse mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, personal loans, student loans, small business loans, insurance quotes and other related offerings. The Company primarily seeks to match in-market consumers with multiple providers on its marketplace who can provide them with competing quotes for loans, deposit products, insurance or other related offerings they are seeking. The Company also serves as a valued partner to lenders and other providers seeking an efficient, scalable and flexible source of customer acquisition with directly measurable benefits, by matching the consumer inquiries it generates with these providers.

LendingTree, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, NC. For more information, please visit www.lendingtree.com.

Investor Relations Contact:
Trent Ziegler
[email protected]
704-943-8294

Media Contact:
Megan Greuling
[email protected]
704-943-8208

Source: on 2020-02-25 07:00:00

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