With Match Group, Sometimes It’s Ok to Just 'Talk'

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If there's one thing that has proven itself to be invaluable in the most unprecedented global lockdown in history, it is the use of technology to communicate and talk.

And sometimes, it's ok to just 'talk.'

So says Match Group (MTCH) - Get Report, owner of dating and hook-up apps including Tinder, OkCupid, Handy and Match.com, which on Wednesday said that while social distancing is clearly having an impact on its bottom line that it has actually seen an increase in conversation times across some of its properties.

In a letter about the impact of the pandemic filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CEO Shar Dubey said that while new subscriber growth has indeed taken a hit, the length of users’ conversations has increased - particularly among those in the 30-and-under camp.

The letter noted that new subscriber growth in regions severely impacted by Covid-19 like Italy and Spain have seen “significant” declines. In the U.S., by contrast, where mandated shelter-in-place rules and quarantines were rolled out later and in different stages, the impact “depends on the level of cases in the region and varies by brand,” Dubey said.

“As nearly every aspect of our lives is now conducted via video, singles are also becoming increasingly comfortable with video dates, and we are integrating video chat into our apps,” Dubey  wrote. “We have offered video chat features in the past and seen low usage, but we think this time user behavior is likely to change more permanently.”

Analysts at Jeffries, meantime, see “no recession in love,” raising their one-year price target on the stock on to $74 from $65 based on expectations that the company’s first-quarter results will still touch the low end of the its guidance range, which sees revenue of between $545 million and $555 million.