Match Group Inc.’s stock
was upgraded for the third time in the past week on Thursday, after Oppenheimer’s Jason Helfstein raised his rating on the shares to outperform from perform. He sees increasing likelihood that InterActiveCorp.
will spin off Match and argues that the online-dating company’s enterprise value wouldn’t be meaningfully affected by a spin. “We believe IAC will transfer debt to Match as part of a spin-off to position IAC with a large cash balance and low net debt ratio,” Helfstein wrote. “However, we now believe IAC will ‘compensate’ Match with equivalent value in Match shares (which will be retired), offsetting any change to enterprise value.” He also doubts that a recent Federal Trade Commission suit will have much long-term impact on the company. The Oppenheimer upgrade follows upgrades at Deutsche Bank and Instinet on Monday. Shares are up 1.5% in premarket trading Thursday, and they’ve risen 3.6% over the past three months as the S&P 500
has fallen 2.5%.