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What’s LOV Got to Do with It? Gurus Embrace Online Dating Companies

September 09, 2013 | About:
Sally Jones

Sally Jones

49 followers
While we can’t be sure that online dating has much to do with finding love, Spark Networks Inc. (LOV) has a lot to do with dating all over the world in every kind of community. Spark Network is one of the top publicly traded online dating companies that include: IAC/InterActiveCorp. (IACI), FriendFinder Networks Inc. (FFN:US) and China’s Jiayuan.com International Ltd. (DATE).

Here’s an update on Spark Networks Inc. (LOV) and the billionaires who hold it.

Spark Networks Inc. (LOV)

Predictability: 1 Star

Up 25% over 12 months, Spark Networks Inc. has a market cap of $171.75 million, and trades at a P/B of 8.83. The current share price is $7.27.

Spark Networks Inc. (LOV) is an online personal service provider operating dating websites in various parts of the world. Its websites include JDate.com, ChristianMingle.com, SilverSingles.com and BlackSingles.com.

Spark Networks Inc. markets itself as a leader in creating niche-focused brands that build and strengthen the communities they serve. The company reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013: Revenue was $17.6 million, an increase of 17% compared to $15.0 million in the second quarter of 2012. The company’s Christian Networks segment was the primary driver of that growth. The company’s total cost and expenses were $20.8 million, an increase of 28% compared to $16.2 million in the second quarter of 2012. Net loss was $3.3 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.0 million, or $0.05 per share, in the second quarter of 2012. The company’s adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $2.3 million, compared to a loss of $592,000 in the second quarter of 2012. Average paying subscribers for the Jewish Networks, Christian Networks and Other Networks segments were 302,268, an increase of 20% compared to 250,934 in the second quarter of 2012, according to a company press release.

"Coming off the best first quarter in our company's history, the second quarter represented another record-breaking one for us," said Greg Liberman, Spark Networks' CEO.

Here’s a look at the billionaires who hold LOV, as of June 30, 2013.

Guru Action: The top Guru stakeholder is Whitney Tilson with 2.02% of shares outstanding, or 478,807 shares as of June 30, 2013, when he increased his position by 103.7%, buying 243,747 shares at an average price of $7.68 per share for a loss of 5.3%. He has averaged a gain of 43% on 665,581 shares bought at an average price of $5.07 per share over an eleven-quarter holding history topping out with highest gain of 134.5% in the first quarter of 2010.

As of June 30, 2013, Jim Simons made a new buy of 71,900 shares, buying at $7.68 per share for a loss of 5%. He owns 0.3% of shares outstanding.

Check out the active insider trading at Spark Networks Inc.

Historical pricing, revenue and net income:

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LOV in a Global Market

The online data services global market is estimated at around $4 billion. Some say the market has plateaued; meanwhile, dating sites continue to spring up in cyberspace. While Spark Network is one of the few publicly traded dating companies, it makes a fraction of what eHarmony makes, according to SoundBarrier. eHarmony Inc.’s 2013 revenue in the first two quarters was reportedly $180 million. The company started in 2000 now has 33 million registered users in 191 countries and 830,000 paid memberships worldwide with 620,000 of them in the U.S.

Declining revenue, even though the company is profitable, is one reason why eHarmony may remain private. According to Consumer Rankings, Match.com has 9.9 million users per month, followed by eHarmony with 2.5 million monthly users. Zoosk Inc. is also a considerable competitor, generating revenue of around $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. eHarmony continues to hone its competitive edge with recent big data improvements like “MongoDB,” a critical application in the company's matching system, enabling eHarmony to process a billion potential matches every day.

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About the author:

Sally Jones
Sally Jones writes about Real Time Picks. She says, "I truly enjoy watching the Gurus in realtime and telling their story."

Rating: 3.3/5 (3 votes)

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