LendingTree Reports Fourth Quarter 2020 Results

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 25, 2021 /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, 2020. 

LendingTree Logo. (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree, Inc.)

The Company has posted a letter to shareholders on its investor relations website at investors.lendingtree.com.

"We navigated the headwinds of the past year incredibly well, and I'm proud of our team's resilience and dedication," said Doug Lebda, chairman and CEO.  "Despite the prior year's challenges, we were fortunate to maintain a healthy and productive workforce, a strong balance sheet and sustained positive cash flows, all of which enabled us to remain acutely focused on executing for our customers, our partners and our shareholders.  The fourth quarter's results are evidence of the progress we continue to make in expanding our leading market position."

J.D. Moriarty, CFO, added, "We are pleased to be able to report better-than-expected fourth quarter results, and even more encouraging is the positive momentum we see across each of our segments.  Our diversified portfolio of businesses continues to strengthen our competitive advantage as our leading presence in Home and Insurance bolster our recovering Consumer segment." 

Fourth Quarter 2020 Business Highlights  

  • Insurance segment revenue of $85.6 million grew 21% over fourth quarter 2019 and translated into segment profit of $33.4 million, up 19% over the same period.
  • Home segment revenue of $88.8 million grew 36% over fourth quarter 2019 and produced segment profit of $32.3 million, up 20% over the same period.
    • Within Home, record mortgage products revenue of $81.5 million grew 51% over the prior year period.
  • Consumer segment revenue of $47.8 million showed improving trends despite typical seasonal headwinds.
    • Within Consumer, credit card revenue of $11.9 million improved substantially from $6.7 million in third quarter 2020.
    • Personal loans revenue of $13.7 million improved from $12.5 million in third quarter 2020.
    • Revenue from our small business offering grew 129% sequentially from the third quarter 2020.
  • Through December 31, 2020, 16.6 million consumers have signed up for My LendingTree.

 

LendingTree Summary Financial Metrics

(In millions, except per share amounts)














Three Months Ended
December 31,


Y/Y



Three Months Ended
September 30,


Q/Q



2020


2019


% Change



2020


% Change














Total revenue

$

222.3



$

255.2



(13)

%



$

220.3



1

%














(Loss) income before income taxes

$

(13.2)



$

4.5



(393)

%



(32.7)



(60)

%


Income tax benefit (expense)

5.1



(3.1)



(265)

%



7.9



(35)

%


Net (loss) income from continuing
operations

$

(8.1)



$

1.5



(640)

%



$

(24.8)



(67)

%


Net (loss) income from continuing
operations % of revenue

(4)

%


1

%





(11)

%
















(Loss) income per share from continuing
operations












Basic

$

(0.62)



$

0.11



(664)

%



$

(1.90)



(67)

%


Diluted

$

(0.62)



$

0.10



(720)

%



$

(1.90)



(67)

%














Variable marketing margin












Total revenue

$

222.3



$

255.2



(13)

%



$

220.3



1

%


Variable marketing expense (1) (2)

$

(140.0)



$

(161.4)



(13)

%



$

(142.2)



(2)

%


Variable marketing margin (2)

$

82.3



$

93.8



(12)

%



$

78.1



5

%


Variable marketing margin % of revenue (2)

37

%


37

%





35

%
















Adjusted EBITDA (2)

$

26.3



$

45.9



(43)

%



$

21.7



21

%


Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue (2)

12

%


18

%





10

%
















Adjusted net income (loss) (2)

$

1.8



$

16.3



(89)

%



$

(3.4)



153

%














Adjusted net income (loss) per share (2)

$

0.13



$

1.12



(88)

%



$

(0.26)



150

%














(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




2020


2019


% Change



2020


% Change



Home (1)













Revenue

$

88.8



$

65.5



36

%



$

78.9



13

%



Segment profit

$

32.3



$

26.9



20

%



$

25.2



28

%



Segment profit % of revenue

36

%


41

%





32

%


















Consumer (2)













Revenue

$

47.8



$

113.4



(58)

%



$

48.4



(1)

%



Segment profit

$

22.7



$

43.3



(48)

%



$

21.6



5

%



Segment profit % of revenue

47

%


38

%





45

%


















Insurance (3)













Revenue

$

85.6



$

70.9



21

%



$

92.5



(7)

%



Segment profit

$

33.4



$

28.0



19

%



$

37.0



(10)

%



Segment profit % of revenue

39

%


39

%





40

%


















Other (4)













Revenue

$

0.1



$

5.4



(98)

%



$

0.5



(80)

%



Loss

$

(0.4)



$

(0.1)



300

%



$



%
















Total revenue

$

222.3



$

255.2



(13)

%



$

220.3



1

%
















Total segment profit

$

88.0



$

98.1



(10)

%



$

83.8



5

%



     Brand marketing expense (5)

$

(5.7)



$

(4.2)



36

%



$

(5.7)



%



Variable marketing margin

$

82.3



$

93.8



(12)

%



$

78.1



5

%



Variable marketing margin % of revenue

37

%


37

%





35

%








































(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 - 2021

Today, the company is providing revenue, variable marketing margin and adjusted EBITDA guidance for the first quarter of 2021, as follows:

For first quarter 2021:

  • Revenue: $260 - $270 million
  • Variable Marketing Margin: $80 - $85 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA: $20 - $25 million

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 2020 financial results will be webcast live today, February 25, 2021 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 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 Friday, March 05, 2021. To listen to the telephone replay, call toll-free (855) 859-2056 with passcode #4562248. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial (404) 537-3406 with passcode #4562248.

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)

(Unaudited)



Three Months Ended 

 December 31,


Twelve Months Ended 

 December 31,


2020


2019


2020


2019


(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Revenue

$

222,329



$

255,187



$

909,990



$

1,106,603


Costs and expenses:








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

13,558



16,728



54,494



68,379


Selling and marketing expense (1)

153,275



167,842



617,404



735,180


General and administrative expense (1)

34,825



27,456



129,101



116,847


Product development (1)

10,384



9,412



43,636



39,953


Depreciation

3,738



3,261



14,201



10,998


Amortization of intangibles

12,475



13,756



53,078



55,241


Change in fair value of contingent consideration

(2,384)



7,181



5,327



28,402


Severance

105



390



295



1,026


Litigation settlements and contingencies

40



140



(943)



(151)


Total costs and expenses

226,016



246,166



916,593



1,055,875


Operating (loss) income

(3,687)



9,021



(6,603)



50,728


Other (expense) income, net:








Interest expense, net

(9,894)



(4,863)



(36,300)



(20,271)


Other income

369



381



376



524


(Loss) income before income taxes

(13,212)



4,539



(42,527)



30,981


Income tax benefit (expense)

5,095



(3,073)



19,961



8,479


Net (loss) income from continuing operations

(8,117)



1,466



(22,566)



39,460


(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax

(139)



392



(25,689)



(21,632)


Net (loss) income and comprehensive (loss) income

$

(8,256)



$

1,858



$

(48,255)



$

17,828










Weighted average shares outstanding:








Basic

13,051



12,921



13,007



12,834


Diluted

13,051



14,580



13,007



14,619


(Loss) income per share from continuing operations:








Basic

$

(0.62)



$

0.11



$

(1.73)



$

3.07


Diluted

$

(0.62)



$

0.10



$

(1.73)



$

2.70


(Loss) income per share from discontinued operations:








Basic

$

(0.01)



$

0.03



$

(1.98)



$

(1.69)


Diluted

$

(0.01)



$

0.03



$

(1.98)



$

(1.48)


 Net (loss) income per share:








Basic

$

(0.63)



$

0.14



$

(3.71)



$

1.39


Diluted

$

(0.63)



$

0.13



$

(3.71)



$

1.22










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








Cost of revenue

$

372



$

197



$

1,319



$

755


Selling and marketing expense

1,809



918



6,240



5,785


General and administrative expense

10,442



8,643



39,650



39,177


Product development

1,874



1,577



6,524



6,450


 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Unaudited)



December 31,

2020


December 31,

2019


(in thousands, except par value
and share amounts)

ASSETS:




Cash and cash equivalents

$

169,932



$

60,243


Restricted cash and cash equivalents

117



96


Accounts receivable, net

89,841



113,487


Prepaid and other current assets

27,949



15,516


Current assets of discontinued operations

8,570



84


Total current assets

296,409



189,426


Property and equipment, net

62,381



31,363


Operating lease right-of-use assets

84,109



25,519


Goodwill

420,139



420,139


Intangible assets, net

128,502



181,580


Deferred income tax assets

96,224



87,664


Equity investment

80,000




Other non-current assets

5,334



4,330


Non-current assets of discontinued operations

15,892



7,948


Total assets

$

1,188,990



$

947,969






LIABILITIES:




Revolving credit facility

$



$

75,000


Accounts payable, trade

10,111



2,873


Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

101,196



112,755


Current contingent consideration



9,028


Current liabilities of discontinued operations

536



31,050


Total current liabilities

111,843



230,706


Long-term debt

611,412



264,391


Operating lease liabilities

92,363



21,358


Non-current contingent consideration

8,249



24,436


Other non-current liabilities

362



4,752


Total liabilities

824,229



545,643






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; 15,766,193 and 15,676,819 shares
issued, respectively, and 13,124,875 and 13,035,501 shares outstanding, respectively

158



157


Additional paid-in capital

1,188,673



1,177,984


Accumulated deficit

(640,909)



(592,654)


Treasury stock; 2,641,318 shares

(183,161)



(183,161)


Total shareholders' equity

364,761



402,326


Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

1,188,990



$

947,969


 

LENDINGTREE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 (Unaudited)



Year Ended December 31,


2020

2019

2018


(in thousands)

Cash flows from operating activities attributable to continuing operations:




Net (loss) income and comprehensive (loss) income

$

(48,255)


$

17,828


$

96,499


Less: Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax

25,689


21,632


12,820


(Loss) income from continuing operations

(22,566)


39,460


109,319


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




Loss (gain) on impairments and disposal of assets

1,160


(695)


2,210


Amortization of intangibles

53,078


55,241


23,468


Depreciation

14,201


10,998


7,385


Rental amortization of intangibles and depreciation



630


Non-cash compensation expense

53,733


52,167


44,365


Deferred income taxes

(9,628)


(8,555)


(63,901)


Change in fair value of contingent consideration

5,327


28,402


10,788


Bad debt expense

1,785


1,697


880


Amortization of debt issuance costs

3,474


1,974


1,776


Write-off of previously-capitalized debt issuance costs


333



Amortization of convertible debt discount

19,570


12,016


11,397


Loss on extinguishment of debt

7,768




Reduction in carrying amount of ROU asset, offset by change in operating lease liabilities

8,888


213



Changes in current assets and liabilities:




Accounts receivable

21,861


(22,457)


(16,820)


Prepaid and other current assets

(952)


(3,258)


(2,985)


Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities

(8,013)


(2,322)


14,270


Current contingent consideration

(25,787)


(12,500)


(21,912)


Income taxes receivable

(10,598)


4,548


3,669


Other, net

(2,002)


(88)


(591)


Net cash provided by operating activities attributable to continuing operations

111,299


157,174


123,948


Cash flows from investing activities attributable to continuing operations:




Capital expenditures

(42,149)


(20,041)


(14,907)


Proceeds from the sale of fixed assets


24,077



Equity investment

(80,000)




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)


Net cash used in investing activities attributable to continuing operations

(122,149)


(101,060)


(383,038)


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

(3,910)


(8,406)


2,217


Proceeds from the issuance of 0.50% Convertible Senior Notes

575,000




Repurchase of 0.625% Convertible Senior Notes

(233,862)




Payment of convertible note hedge on the 0.50% Convertible Senior Notes

(124,200)




Termination of convertible note hedge on the 0.625% Convertible Senior Notes

109,881




Proceeds from the sale of warrants related to the 0.50% Convertible Senior Notes

61,180




Termination of warrants related to the 0.625% Convertible Senior Notes

(94,292)




Net (repayment of) proceeds from revolving credit facility

(75,000)


(50,000)


125,000


Payment of debt issuance costs

(16,568)


(2,518)


(583)


Contingent consideration payments

(4,755)


(21,275)


(27,588)


Purchase of treasury stock


(5,470)


(93,704)


Acquisition of noncontrolling interest



(499)


Other financing activities

(184)


(9)



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

193,290


(87,678)


4,843


Total cash provided by (used in) continuing operations

182,440


(31,564)


(254,247)


Discontinued operations:




Net cash used in operating activities attributable to discontinued operations

(72,730)


(13,255)


(13,236)


Total cash used in discontinued operations

(72,730)


(13,255)


(13,236)


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

109,710


(44,819)


(267,483)


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

60,339


105,158


372,641


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

$

170,049


$

60,339


$

105,158






Non-cash investing activities:




Increase (decrease) in capital expenditures included in accounts payable and accrued expenses

$

4,196


$

(946)


$

2,246


Capital additions from tenant improvement allowance


1,111



Supplemental cash flow information:




Interest paid

$

4,741


$

7,005


$

3,593


Income tax payments

561


25


541


Income tax refunds

60


4,743


5,678


 

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,

2020

September 30,

2020

December 31,

2019


December 31,

2020

December 31,

2019


(in thousands)

Selling and marketing expense

$

153,275


$

154,670


$

167,842



$

617,404


$

735,180


Non-variable selling and marketing expense (1)

(13,248)


(12,541)


(11,036)



(49,652)


(47,000)


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



4,557



1,086


22,755


Variable marketing expense

$

140,027


$

142,129


$

161,363



$

568,838


$

710,935


(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 (loss) income from continuing operations to variable marketing margin and net (loss) 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,

2020

September 30,

2020

December 31,

2019


December 31,

2020

December 31,

2019


(in thousands, except percentages)

Net (loss) income from continuing operations

$

(8,117)


$

(24,809)


$

1,466



$

(22,566)


$

39,460


Net (loss) income from continuing operations %
of revenue

(4)

%

(11)

%

1

%


(2)

%

4

%








Adjustments to reconcile to variable marketing margin:







Cost of revenue

13,558


13,220


16,728



54,494


68,379


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



(4,557)



(1,086)


(22,755)


Non-variable selling and marketing expense (2)

13,248


12,541


11,036



49,652


47,000


General and administrative expense

34,825


33,705


27,456



129,101


116,847


Product development

10,384


11,477


9,412



43,636


39,953


Depreciation

3,738


3,535


3,261



14,201


10,998


Amortization of intangibles

12,475


13,090


13,756



53,078


55,241


Change in fair value of contingent consideration

(2,384)


6,658


7,181



5,327


28,402


Severance

105



390



295


1,026


Litigation settlements and contingencies

40


13


140



(943)


(151)


Interest expense, net

9,894


16,617


4,863



36,300


20,271


Other income

(369)



(381)



(376)


(524)


Income tax (benefit) expense

(5,095)


(7,925)


3,073



(19,961)


(8,479)


Variable marketing margin

$

82,302


$

78,122


$

93,824



$

341,152


$

395,668


Variable marketing margin % of revenue

37

%

35

%

37

%


37

%

36

%

(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 (loss) income from continuing operations to adjusted EBITDA and net (loss) 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,

2020

September 30,

2020

December 31,

2019


December 31,

2020

December 31,

2019


(in thousands, except percentages)

Net (loss) income from continuing operations

$

(8,117)


$

(24,809)


$

1,466



$

(22,566)


$

39,460


Net (loss) income from continuing operations %
of revenue

(4)

%

(11)

%

1

%


(2)

%

4

%

Adjustments to reconcile to adjusted EBITDA:







Amortization of intangibles

12,475


13,090


13,756



53,078


55,241


Depreciation

3,738


3,535


3,261



14,201


10,998


Severance

105



390



295


1,026


Loss (gain) on impairments and disposal of assets

474


134


424



1,160


(945)


Non-cash compensation expense

14,497


14,161


11,335



53,733


52,167


Costs of secondary public offering

863





863



Change in fair value of contingent consideration

(2,384)


6,658


7,181



5,327


28,402


Acquisition expense

(188)


205


14



2,217


211


Litigation settlements and contingencies

40


13


140



(943)


(151)


Interest expense, net

9,894


16,617


4,863



36,300


20,271


Income tax (benefit) expense

(5,095)


(7,925)


3,073



(19,961)


(8,479)


Adjusted EBITDA

$

26,302


$

21,679


$

45,903



$

123,704


$

198,201


Adjusted EBITDA % of revenue

12

%

10

%

18

%


14

%

18

%

 

LENDINGTREE'S RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO GAAP


Adjusted Net Income


Below is a reconciliation of net (loss) income from continuing operations to adjusted net income (loss) and net (loss) income per
diluted share from continuing operations to adjusted net income (loss) 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,

2020

September 30,

2020

December 31,

2019


December 31,

2020

December 31,

2019


(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Net (loss) income from continuing operations

$

(8,117)


$

(24,809)


$

1,466



$

(22,566)


$

39,460


Adjustments to reconcile to adjusted net (loss) income:







Severance

105



390



295


1,026


Loss (gain) on impairments and disposal of assets

474


134


424



1,160


(945)


Non-cash compensation

14,497


14,161


11,335



53,733


52,167


Costs of secondary public offering

863





863



Change in fair value of contingent consideration

(2,384)


6,658


7,181



5,327


28,402


Acquisition expense

(188)


205


14



2,217


211


Litigation settlements and contingencies

40


13


140



(943)


(151)


Loss on extinguishment of debt


7,768




7,768



Income tax benefit from adjusted items

(3,402)


(7,361)


(4,087)



(17,880)


(20,694)


Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation

(51)


(175)


(516)



(2,033)


(17,058)


Income tax benefit from CARES Act





(6,104)



Adjusted net income (loss)

$

1,837


$

(3,406)


$

16,347



$

21,837


$

82,418









Net (loss) income per diluted share from continuing
operations

$

(0.62)


$

(1.90)


$

0.10



$

(1.73)


$

2.70


Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income from
continuing operations to adjusted net income (loss)

0.76


1.64


1.02



3.41


2.94


Adjustments to reconcile effect of dilutive securities

(0.01)





(0.14)



Adjusted net income (loss) per share

$

0.13


$

(0.26)


$

1.12



$

1.54


$

5.64









Adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding

14,163


13,033


14,580



14,150


14,619


Effect of dilutive securities

1,112





1,143



Weighted average diluted shares outstanding

13,051


13,033


14,580



13,007


14,619


Effect of dilutive securities



1,659




1,785


Weighted average basic shares outstanding

13,051


13,033


12,921



13,007


12,834


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 in most years.

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) gain/loss on extinguishment of debt, (8) one-time items, (9) the effects to income taxes of the aforementioned adjustments, and (10) 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, except for the $6.1 million income tax benefit from the CARES Act in Q1 2020 and the Q4 2020 expenses incurred in connection with a secondary public offering of our common stock by our largest shareholder, for which we did not receive any proceeds.

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: uncertainty regarding the duration and scope of the coronavirus referred to as COVID-19 pandemic; actions governments and businesses take in response to the pandemic, including actions that could affect levels of advertising activity; the impact of the pandemic and actions taken in response to the pandemic on national and regional economies and economic activity; the pace of recovery when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides; 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 lenders, including dependence on certain key network lenders; 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 lenders 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, 2019, in our Form 10-Q for the period ended September  30, 2020, 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
trent.ziegler@lendingtree.com
704-943-8294                                                                         

Media Contact:
Megan Greuling
megan.greuling@lendingtree.com 
704-943-8208

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lendingtree-reports-fourth-quarter-2020-results-301235411.html

SOURCE LendingTree, Inc.

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