Could app-based dating be the ultimate Covid-19 pandemic recovery trade? That’s a question that prospective Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) investors should consider, as BMBL stock hasn’t exactly been a blockbuster success in the past couple of months.
The Austin, Texas-based company has an interesting backstory. As I learned from InvestorPlace contributor Thomas Yeung, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd was an early employee at Tinder, but had a falling out with Justin Mateen, one of Tinder’s co-founders.
Fast-forward to the present day, when the Bumble platform is famous for encouraging women to “make the first move.” It’s an interesting angle that sets the app apart from Tinder and other competitors.
But, is it investable? The share price has declined and Wall Street analysts aren’t overly impressed, but the fiscal data suggests that, indeed, Bumble won’t crumble.
A Closer Look at BMBL Stock
As Yeung reported, Bumble had a by-the-book initial public offering (IPO) on Feb. 11, 2021. The company had planned to start the share price in the range of $37 to $39.
The IPO price for BMBL stock turned out to be $43, however, and an initial burst of enthusiasm quickly brought the share price much higher than that.
If you can believe it, on Feb. 12 (the day after the IPO), Bumble shares rocketed to a high of $84.80. That hype phase was short-lived, though.
Over the next several months, BMBL stock drifted downwards, even briefly falling below $40. On May 28, the shares were trading at $47.72.
It’s often not a great sign when a company’s stock slides below its IPO price. Moreover, the Bumble share price tanked after the company released its financial results for the first quarter of 2021.
So, is Bumble actually in trouble? To answer that question, we should let the actual data guide us, rather than make assumptions based on the stock’s price action.
Into the Profit Zone
Judging from the market’s reaction to Bumble’s first-quarter data release, you might think it was a horror show.
In actuality, the company literally doubled its revenues and swung to profitability.
Here are the first-quarter 2021 highlights:
- Net earnings of $323.4 million, or $1.69 per share. The FactSet consensus estimate was for a GAAP loss of 3 cents per share; during the year-ago quarter, Bumble posted a loss of $55.8 million, or 2 cents per share.
- Revenues of $170.7 million, beating the FactSet consensus estimate of $164.6 million as well as the $79.1 million in revenues posted in the year-ago quarter
- 2.8 million total paying customers, representing a 30% increase over the 2.2 million reported in 2020’s first quarter
In light of those encouraging stats, CFO Anu Subramanian said, “”Our first-quarter results reflect significant growth in paying users as well as improved monetization, positioning us to raise full-year 2021 guidance.”
That guidance includes revenues between $724 million and $734 million, as well as adjusted profits between $177 million to $182 million.
Mixed Response from Wall Street
Given the company’s terrific quarterly results, the market’s negative response is somewhat baffling.
Maybe the analysts on Wall Street can provide some clarity here.
Or, maybe not. Analysts at Stifel provided mixed signals on BMBL stock, maintaining their “buy” rating while lowering their price target from $78 to $66.
Apparently, the Stifel analysts were concerned about “the pace of reopening and global economic recovery given some recent setbacks in a number of countries.”
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analysts maintained their “equal weight” rating and $57 price target on Bumble shares.
Those analysts conceded that “Online dating remains a compelling reopening winner” while also expressing concern about Bumble’s valuation.
For his part, Goldman Sachs analyst Michael Ng assigned Bumble shares a $47 price target along with a “neutral” rating.
The Bottom Line
Something tells me that the analysts are adopting a wait-and-see stance here.
But do we really need to treat Bumble as a show-me story? The fiscal data showed me everything I need to know.
And if the analysts can’t find a compelling reason to avoid BMBL stock, that’s not a bad thing. If anything, it should motivate investors to “make the first move” and buy it.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.