RealTime IT News

LendingTree Could Bloom Next Year

Online loan marketplace LendingTree Inc. said it expects to reach the break-even point by the first quarter of 2002, five months earlier than expected.

The company also said that during November 2000, for the first time in its history, revenue per customer exceeded the cost of acquisition per customer.

The company's stock was up nearly 44 cents to $2.93 in mid-morning trading. Like hundreds of other Internet companies, its stock has taken a beating over the past few months. The 52-week low is $1.78; at one time it was in the $21 a share range.

LendingTree said "continued efficiency of customer acquisition costs and higher conversion rates" have reduced the company's anticipated loss and cash flow needs compared to previous guidance.

For the nine months ended last Sept. 30, LendingTree revenues totaled $21.2 million, up from $4 million in the same period a year earlier. Net loss totaled $53.5 million, up from $17.3 million.

LendingTree's loan technology, Lend-X, powers the online loan marketplace at its eponymous site, as well as the online lending resources of other institutions. LendingTree.com lets consumers receive multiple loan offers, within one business day, in response to a single loan request for home mortgages, home equity loans, personal loans, automobile loans and credit cards.