Signs of Green at Lending Tree

LendingTree Inc., which this week signed contracts with five lenders that
will integrate its Lend-X Automatic Decision Engine into their loan
processing software, reaffirmed its financial guidance, calling for a
fourth-quarter loss but first-quarter 2002 EBITDA profitability.


The Charlotte, N.C.-based online loan operation said that
it expects a cash operating loss of $2.5 million, or 13 cents per share, for
its fourth quarter ending Dec. 31. On a fully diluted basis, analysts on
average are expecting a fourth quarter loss of 30 cents a share, and a
full-year loss of $1.44 a share.


However, the company said that “it continues to expect to achieve operating
cash flow profitability (EBITDA) in February 2002…” And analysts are
expecting 2002 full-year earnings of about 11 cents a share, fully diluted.


The stock hit a 52-week high in early trading today, going for $8.10 a share
before dropping back to $7.25.


The company stated that its guidance remained unchanged for all of 2002, with
expectations for revenue of $94 million and EBITDA of $6.6 million, or about
30 cents per share.


LendingTree also reaffirmed future outlook and growth projections,
reiterating its 2006 financial targets, which include $250 million in
revenue, 25 to 30 percent return on sales, EBITDA per share of $1.50 to $2,
and earnings per share (EPS) of $1.25 to $1.70 on a fully diluted basis.


Meanwhile, all five of the new clients who have adopted the Automatic
Decision Engine (ADE) technology also participate as lenders on the
LendingTree Exchange. They include SIB Mortgage, Metro Lending, Millennium
Bank and Pacific Guarantee Mortgage,


ADE is an option for the company’s newly upgraded Lend-X system that enables
lenders to lower loan processing costs by utilizing the Internet to provide
an immediate response to mortgage loan requests.


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.

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