Dismal Outlook Sends Match Stock Spiraling

The firm did post a third-quarter earnings and revenue beat, however

by Lillian Currens

Published on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:21 AM

The shares of online dating name Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) are down 5.3% at $65.10 today, following the firm's third-quarter earnings report. While the Tinder parent posted profits and revenue than beat analysts' estimates, the firm's fourth-quarter outlook fell short of expectations. Match cited rising competition from other web-based dating services, including Facebook's (FB) new platform, which just launched in the U.S. earlier this year. 

MTCH has been in cool-down mode since touching its all-time high of $95.31 in early August, with its $90 region taking out two attempts to rally back up toward its August peak. More recently the security has been guided lower by its 40-day moving average, and settled south of long-time support at the $70 region yesterday. Today, the equity is eyeing its fourth consecutive loss. 

Analysts following the stock have been pretty bullish, with 11 in coverage calling it a "strong buy," compared to five "hold" ratings and not a single "sell" to be seen. What's more, the consensus 12-month target price of $90 is at a 46.5% premium to current levels. While the brokerage bunch has remained quiet on Match stock so far, a round of bear notes could help push the stock even further down the charts, should some of this negative price action hold. 

Options traders have started moving towards bearish bets ahead of Match Group's earnings report. At the the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), MTCH sports a 10-day put/call ratio of 0.92, which sits in the 90th percentile of its annual range. This suggests a much bigger appetite for puts over calls of late. 

Shorts have been piling on in recent weeks too, with short interest up 7.7% in the last reporting period. These bears are firmly in control, too, with the 29.58 shares sold short making up over half of the stock's available float, or over 12 days' worth of buying power at the stock's average pace of trading. 

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