Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Lendingtree Inc (TREE) to Post $1.17 EPS

Wall Street analysts forecast that Lendingtree Inc (NASDAQ:TREE) will announce earnings of $1.17 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have issued estimates for Lendingtree’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.40 and the lowest is $0.96. Lendingtree reported earnings of $0.85 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 37.6%. The firm is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, April 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Lendingtree will report full year earnings of $5.64 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.86 to $7.00. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $7.82 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.07 to $9.57. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow Lendingtree.

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Lendingtree (NASDAQ:TREE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.90 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $161.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $150.25 million. Lendingtree had a return on equity of 14.67% and a net margin of 2.52%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 59.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share.

TREE has been the subject of several analyst reports. BidaskClub raised Lendingtree from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Stephens reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $375.00 price objective (up from $300.00) on shares of Lendingtree in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lendingtree from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $425.00 price target on shares of Lendingtree in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, SunTrust Banks started coverage on Lendingtree in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. They set a “hold” rating for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $327.33.

In other Lendingtree news, CEO Douglas R. Lebda sold 14,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $324.56, for a total transaction of $4,787,260.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 532,076 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $172,690,586.56. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Gabriel Dalporto sold 46,876 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $340.07, for a total value of $15,941,121.32. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 47,513 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,157,745.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 132,654 shares of company stock valued at $44,174,762. 21.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TREE. American International Group Inc. grew its holdings in Lendingtree by 6.2% during the third quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 5,189 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,268,000 after purchasing an additional 301 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in Lendingtree by 11.2% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,442 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,530,000 after purchasing an additional 1,450 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Lendingtree by 5.9% during the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 33,435 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,174,000 after purchasing an additional 1,862 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in Lendingtree by 1.1% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 21,239 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,192,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc grew its holdings in Lendingtree by 123,700.0% during the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,238 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $421,000 after purchasing an additional 1,237 shares during the period. 77.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Lendingtree stock opened at $314.10 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $3,893.51, a PE ratio of 101.92, a P/E/G ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.73. Lendingtree has a 52 week low of $117.15 and a 52 week high of $404.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 2.97 and a quick ratio of 2.97.

Lendingtree declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 22nd that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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About Lendingtree

LendingTree, Inc, through its subsidiary, LendingTree, LLC, operates an online loan marketplace for consumers seeking loans and other credit-based offerings in the United States. Its mortgage products comprise purchase and refinance products. The company also provides information, tools, and access to various conditional loan offers for non-mortgage products, including auto loans, credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans, reverse mortgages, small business loans, and student loans.

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