Why Match Group Stock Lost 16% in September

A Federal Trade Commission lawsuit put the brakes on the online dating website operator’s 2019 rally.

| More on:
Arrow descending on a graph

Image source: Getty Images.

What happened

Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) shares lost ground last month, shedding 16% even as the S&P 500 rose by 2%, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. That decline only put a mild dent in longer-term investors’ gains, however, given that the stock still ended September up by more than 70% for 2019 overall.

So what

Most of the decline came late in the month after the Federal Trade Commission announced a lawsuit against the company. Among other things, the FTC alleges the company has been “using fake love interest ads to trick consumers into paying for a Match.com subscription.” In essence, it has allegedly been tempting them with the prospect of exchanging messages with a genuine romantic prospect, when the contacts were coming from accounts already flagged as likely fraudulent.

The FTC doesn’t allege that Match Group was behind the actual romance scams, but rather that it used known scammers’ messages to entice free trial users to sign up for the paid service. Match.com users can’t respond to messages they’ve been sent unless they subscribe.

Now what

It’s unclear how large a financial hit the tech stock would take if it were to lose this lawsuit. The more important question is to what extent Match Group’s subscription growth has been coming from efforts that result in a poor user experience, which would open it to challenges from Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and others looking to take market share in the online dating business.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Match Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

More on Tech Stocks

grow money, wealth build
Tech Stocks

$10,000 Invested in These Growth Stocks Could Make You a Fortune Over the Next 10 Years

Growth stocks such as Dollarama and Chewy are well poised to deliver outsized gains to long-term investors.

Read more »

online shopping
Tech Stocks

Is Shopify Stock a Buy in March?

Shopify stock has had a volatile run, but fundamentals are strong, and valuations are much lower after its 71% decline.

Read more »

data analyze research
Tech Stocks

2 Top Stocks to Buy in March 2023

Given their solid financials and high-growth prospects, these two stocks are excellent buys right now.

Read more »

Male IT Specialist Holds Laptop and Discusses Work with Female Server Technician. They're Standing in Data Center, Rack Server Cabinet with Cloud Server Icon and Visualization
Tech Stocks

Is Kinaxis Stock a Buy at 52-Week Highs?

Kinaxis stock is up 31% in the last six months, though 5% in the last year. So as the stock…

Read more »

healthcare pharma
Tech Stocks

Should You Buy WELL Health Stock After Q4 Earnings?

Given its solid financials, healthy growth prospects, and attractive valuation, I am bullish on WELL Health.

Read more »

A data center engineer works on a laptop at a server farm.
Tech Stocks

2 Tech Stocks That Could Set You Up for Life

Canadian investors can set themselves up for the future with top tech stocks like Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX:DSG).

Read more »

dividends grow over time
Tech Stocks

Got $1,000? Buy These Hot Growth Stocks Before They Take Off

Investors won’t want to miss these buying opportunities. Here are three discounted growth stocks to load up on today.

Read more »

Woman has an idea
Tech Stocks

2 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy With $500 Right Now

Given their solid financials, healthy growth prospects, and attractive valuation, I am bullish on these two TSX stocks.

Read more »