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Why Match Group Stock Climbed 25.1% in January

What happened

Shares of Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) gained 25.1% in January, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. After ending 2018 on a rough note, technology and social media stocks have bounced back this year, and Match stock is among those that have regained ground.

MTCH data by YCharts

Match stock fell roughly 24.5% during 2018's volatile final quarter of trading, and in addition to benefiting from the the market's rebound early in 2019, the stock posted gains following news that the company had partnered with online media brand Betches to launch a new social dating app on iOS.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

News hit on Jan. 22 that Betches and Match were launching Ship, a new social media app that centers around users setting their friends up on dates. Ship aims to make the online dating experience even more social, allowing users to "combine forces, so instead of dreading dating apps, you can get the whole group finding matches for each other."

Match's stock climbed following the announcement, which further propelled its January rebound. Engagement tracking in the month showing strong participation for the company's Tinder app may also have been a factor in the strong January performance.

Now what

Match stock has continued to gain ground in February, with shares trading up roughly 7.9% in the month so far. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings after market close on Feb. 6, delivering earnings performance and guidance that came in ahead of the market's expectations.

MTCH data by YCharts

Sales for the period climbed 21% year over year to reach $457 million, beating the average analyst estimate's call for revenue of roughly $448 million. Earnings per share for the period came in at $0.39, ahead of the average analyst estimate's target of $0.37 and up from a per-share loss of $0.03 in the prior-year period. Tinder saw its average monthly subscriber base rise 40% year over year to reach 4.3 million, and the company's overall average subscribers climbed 17% year over year to reach 8.1 million.

Management expects EBITDA for 2019 to come in between $740 million and $790 million -- representing roughly 17% growth at the midpoint.

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Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Match Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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