Shares of Match Group Inc.
are up 2.4% in premarket trading after Jefferies analyst Brent Thill upgraded the stock back to buy, roughly a month after Facebook Inc.’s
announcement of its own dating product prompted Thill to cut his rating on Match shares to hold. “Although we don’t anticipate the FB feature to launch until mid-summer, we are upgrading now because our research points to a minimal long-term impact,” wrote Thill, who raised his price target to $50 from $40. He said that Facebook may have trouble as it tries to create a single product to appeal to all daters. “We believe that the portfolio approach is a big advantage for Match, enabling them to target different demographics and needs,” Thill wrote. Match shares are up 125% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500
has gained 14%.