SOURCE: Spark Networks, Inc.

Spark Networks, Inc.

November 06, 2014 16:01 ET

Spark Networks® Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 6, 2014) - Spark Networks, Inc. (NYSE MKT: LOV)

  • Contribution1 of $9.0 million, highest since Q1 2009
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 of $2.5 million, highest since Q1 2010
  • Average paying subscribers3 of 257,679, a sequential decline of 6%

Spark Networks, Inc. (NYSE MKT: LOV), a leader in creating niche-focused brands that build and strengthen the communities they serve, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014.

Financial Highlights

    Q3 2013   Q2 2014   Q3 2014
  Revenue   $17.4 Million   $15.8 Million   $15.0 Million
  Contribution   $4.7 Million   $7.8 Million   $9.0 Million
  Adjusted EBITDA   $(1.8) Million   $937,000   $2.5 million
  Net Loss   $(2.6) Million   $(1.1) Million   $(1.0) Million
  Cash Balance   $17.2 Million   $10.1 Million   $9.3 Million
  Avg. Paying Subs   300,225   275,345   257,679
  ARPU   $18.38   $17.95   $18.33
               

Financial Results

Revenue in the third quarter of 2014 was $15.0 million, a decrease of 14% compared to the year-ago period, and a 5% decrease compared to the prior quarter. The year-over-year decrease was primarily driven by a 14% decrease in average paying subscribers, reflecting a 15% and 9% decline in average paying subscribers for the Christian and Jewish Networks segments, respectively. The sequential decrease was primarily driven by a 6% decrease in average paying subscribers, reflecting an 8% and 3% decline in average paying subscribers for the Christian and Jewish Networks segments, respectively.

Direct marketing expenses in the third quarter of 2014 were $6.0 million, a decrease of 52% compared to the year-ago period and a 24% decrease compared to the prior quarter. Christian Networks accounted for the majority of the decrease, reflecting the company's strategy to reduce and reallocate direct marketing investments in the segment.

Contribution in the third quarter of 2014 was $9.0 million, an increase of 90% compared to the year-ago period and a 14% increase compared to the prior quarter. Christian Networks was the primary driver with improved marketing efficiency and a better mix within our paying subscriber base.

Excluding direct marketing and one-time severance and restructuring expenses, costs and expenses in the third quarter of 2014 were $7.4 million, an increase of 3% and a decrease of 2% compared to the year-ago period and the prior quarter, respectively. In the third quarter of 2014, the Company incurred one-time expenses totaling $1.9 million, comprised of approximately $1.0 million in connection with severance related to the former CEO, approximately $200,000 in connection with severance related to the former general counsel, approximately $200,000 associated with severance related to a general reduction in the workforce and approximately $500,000 in connection with reimbursement of proxy contest costs.

Net loss in the third quarter of 2014 was $(969,000), or $(0.04) per share, compared to a net loss of $(2.6) million, or $(0.11) per share, in the year ago period, and a net loss of $(1.1) million or $(0.05) per share in the prior quarter.

Excluding one-time expenses associated with the separation of the Company's former CEO and General Counsel, the severance associated with a general reduction in workforce and the reimbursement of proxy contest costs in the third quarter of 2014, Adjusted EBITDA was $2.5 million compared to a loss of $(1.8) million in the year ago period and income of $937,000 in the prior quarter (excluding $1.3 million of proxy fees and related costs).

Total average paying subscribers in the third quarter of 2014 were 257,679, a decrease of 14% compared to the year-ago period and a 6% decrease compared to the prior quarter. Christian Networks average paying subscribers were 166,908 in the third quarter of 2014, a 15% decrease compared to the year-ago period and an 8% decrease compared to the prior quarter. Jewish Networks average paying subscribers were 76,481, a 9% decrease compared to the year-ago period and a 3% decrease compared to the prior quarter. Other Networks average paying subscribers were 14,290, a 25% decrease compared to the year-ago period and a 7% decrease compared to the prior quarter.

Balance Sheet, Cash, Debt
As of September 30, 2014, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $9.3 million. As of September 30, 2014, the company had no outstanding debt.

Commentary and Outlook
Executive Chairman Michael McConnell stated, "The Company has experienced significant changes since the removal of the majority of the Board in July. The initial focus of the new Board has been on right-sizing the corporate cost structure and driving improved marketing efficiency, particularly at ChristianMingle. Both objectives have largely been accomplished. Improved marketing efficiency at ChristianMingle drove subscriber acquisition costs ('SAC') in September that were less than subscriber lifetime value ('LTV') for the first time since January 2012.

"Looking forward, the primary objective is to drive substantial improvement to our product functions and features across all platforms. Our JDate iPhone App was approved this week and we will launch the ChristianMingle App by the end of the year. We are exploring both leveraging our presence in Israel and outsourcing certain other development activities to accelerate product development. We are fully committed to devoting the financial resources to greatly improve our product, support our brands and provide to our customers an industry leading experience. We know we have work to do in this area.

"In summary, much has been accomplished in the last several months, but much work remains. The team has embraced our future with a sense of urgency and focus. We look forward to driving changes that create a terrific experience for our customers and support the core communities we serve."

   
   
SPARK NETWORKS, INC.  
SEGMENT RESULTS FROM OPERATIONS4  
(in thousands except subscriber and ARPU information)  
   
    Q3 2013     Q4 2013     Q1 2014     Q2 2014   Q3 2014   Q3 '14 v. Q3 '13  
                                           
Net Revenue                                          
Jewish Networks   $ 6,433     $ 6,444     $ 6,124     $ 5,895   $ 5,724   -11.0 %
Christian Networks     10,088       9,989       9,789       9,199     8,672   -14.0 %
Other Networks     715       667       610       570     533   -25.5 %
Offline & Other Businesses     125       104       93       93     79   -36.8 %
  Total Net Revenue   $ 17,361     $ 17,204     $ 16,616     $ 15,757   $ 15,008   -13.6 %
                                           
Direct Mktg. Exp.                                          
Jewish Networks   $ 822     $ 991     $ 1,115     $ 693   $ 628   -23.6 %
Christian Networks     11,659       11,769       10,104       7,073     5,293   -54.6 %
Other Networks     123       121       142       115     107   -13.0 %
Offline & Other Businesses     30       36       25       28     19   -36.7 %
  Total Direct Mktg. Exp.   $ 12,634     $ 12,917     $ 11,386     $ 7,909   $ 6,047   -52.1 %
                                           
Contribution                                          
Jewish Networks   $ 5,611     $ 5,453     $ 5,009     $ 5,202   $ 5,096   -9.2 %
Christian Networks     (1,571 )     (1,780 )     (315 )     2,126     3,379   N/A  
Other Networks     592       546       468       455     426   -28.0 %
Offline & Other Businesses     95       68       68       65     60   -36.8 %
  Total Contribution   $ 4,727     $ 4,287     $ 5,230     $ 7,848   $ 8,961   89.6 %
                                           
Average Paying Subs.                                          
Jewish Networks     83,732       83,175       80,395       78,856     76,481   -8.7 %
Christian Networks     197,420       192,349       189,251       181,062     166,908   -15.5 %
Other Networks     19,073       17,236       16,396       15,427     14,290   -25.1 %
  Total Avg. Paying Subs.5     300,225       292,760       286,042       275,345     257,679   -14.2 %
ARPU6                                          
Jewish Networks   $ 25.28     $ 25.34     $ 24.87     $ 24.43   $ 24.53   -2.9 %
Christian Networks     16.07       16.14       16.19       15.64     16.01   -0.3 %
Other Networks     12.08       12.44       12.08       11.97     12.11   0.2 %
  Total ARPU6   $ 18.38     $ 18.54     $ 18.40     $ 17.95   $ 18.33   -0.3 %
                                             
                                             
   
   
Distribution of New Subscription Purchases7  
                               
    Q3 2013     Q4 2013     Q1 2014     Q2 2014     Q3 2014  
                               
Jewish Networks                              
  1 month plans   40.1 %   39.9 %   39.5 %   40.4 %   38.5 %
  3 month plans   27.3 %   26.2 %   26.7 %   23.6 %   24.9 %
  6 month plans   32.6 %   33.9 %   33.8 %   36.0 %   36.6 %
    100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
Christian Networks                              
  1 month plans   43.6 %   43.5 %   44.4 %   44.8 %   50.6 %
  3 month plans   23.1 %   25.9 %   21.7 %   18.6 %   20.8 %
  6 month plans   33.3 %   30.6 %   33.9 %   36.6 %   28.6 %
    100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
Other Networks                              
  1 month plans   60.8 %   57.5 %   57.9 %   55.4 %   58.6 %
  3 month plans   12.6 %   12.8 %   13.2 %   12.7 %   12.2 %
  6 month plans   26.5 %   29.7 %   28.9 %   31.9 %   29.2 %
    100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
                               
    Composition of Average Paying Subscriber Base8  
                               
    Q3 2013     Q4 2013     Q1 2014     Q2 2014     Q3 2014  
                               
Jewish Networks                              
First Time Subscribers   25.3 %   24.2 %   23.1 %   22.4 %   21.9 %
Winback Subscribers   30.6 %   29.9 %   29.3 %   29.8 %   29.5 %
Renewal Subscribers   44.1 %   45.9 %   47.6 %   47.8 %   48.6 %
Total   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
Christian Networks                              
First Time Subscribers   53.8 %   52.0 %   49.1 %   45.8 %   42.7 %
Winback Subscribers   18.5 %   18.9 %   19.3 %   19.9 %   20.5 %
Renewal Subscribers   27.7 %   29.1 %   31.6 %   34.3 %   36.8 %
Total   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
Other Networks                              
First Time Subscribers   33.9 %   31.8 %   32.1 %   32.2 %   31.2 %
Winback Subscribers   24.7 %   24.2 %   23.2 %   23.1 %   22.6 %
Renewal Subscribers   41.4 %   44.0 %   44.7 %   44.7 %   46.2 %
Total   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %   100.0 %
                               
                               

Investor Conference Call
The company will discuss its financial results during a live teleconference today at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Toll-Free (United States): 1-877-705-6003
International: 1-201-493-6725

In addition, the company will host a webcast of the call which will be accessible in the Investor Relations section of the company's website at www.spark.net or by clicking http://investor.spark.net.

A replay will begin approximately three hours after completion of the call and run until November 20, 2014.

Replay
Toll-Free (United States): 1-877-870-5176
International: 1-858-384-5517
Passcode: 13594281

Safe Harbor Statement:
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Written words, such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intends," "goal," "objective," "seek," "attempt," or variations of these or similar words, identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the near future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially, including, but not limited to our ability to: attract members; convert members into paying subscribers and retain our paying subscribers; develop or acquire new product offerings and successfully implement and expand those offerings; keep pace with rapid technological changes; maintain the strength of our existing brands and maintain and enhance those brands; continue to depend upon the telecommunications infrastructure and our networking hardware and software infrastructure; identify and consummate strategic acquisitions and integrate acquired companies or assets; obtain financing on acceptable terms; and successfully implement both cost cutting initiatives and our current long-term growth strategy. For a discussion of these and further risks and uncertainties, please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information that we file at the SEC's public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. Our public filings with the SEC also are available from commercial document retrieval services and at the Web site maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.

About Spark Networks, Inc.:
The Spark Networks portfolio of consumer Web sites includes, among others, JDate®.com (www.jdate.com), ChristianMingle®.com (www.christianmingle.com), Spark®.com (www.spark.com), BlackSingles.com® (www.blacksingles.com), and SilverSingles®.com (www.silversingles.com).

1 "Contribution" is defined as revenue, net of credits and credit card chargebacks, less direct marketing.

2 The company reports Adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental measure to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP"). This measure is one of the primary metrics by which we evaluate the performance of our businesses, budget, forecast and compensate management. We believe this measure provides management and investors with a consistent view, period to period, of the core earnings generated from on-going operations and excludes the impact of: (i) non-cash items such as stock-based compensation, asset impairments, non-cash currency translation adjustments related to an inter-company loan and (ii) one-time items that have not occurred in the past two years and are not expected to recur in the next two years. Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as a substitute for net income (loss) (as determined in accordance with GAAP) for the purpose of analyzing our operating performance or financial position, as Adjusted EBITDA is not defined by GAAP.

"Adjusted EBITDA" is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation, impairment of long-lived assets, non-cash currency translation adjustments for an inter-company loan and non-recurring proxy contest costs and severance expense.

3 "Average paying subscribers" are defined as individuals who have paid a monthly fee for access to communication and Web site features beyond those provided to our members. Average paying subscribers for each month are calculated as the sum of the paying subscribers at the beginning and end of the month, divided by two. Average paying subscribers for periods longer than one month are calculated as the sum of the average paying subscribers for each month, divided by the number of months in such period.

4 In accordance with Segment Reporting guidance, the company's financial reporting includes detailed data on four separate operating segments. The Jewish Networks segment consists of the company's JDate.com, JDate.co.il, JDate.fr, JDate.co.uk and Cupid.co.il Web sites and their respective co-branded Web sites. The Christian Networks segment consists of the company's ChristianMingle.com, ChristianMingle.co.uk, ChristianMingle.com.au, Believe.com, ChristianCards.net, ChristianDating.com, DailyBibleVerse.com and Faith.com Web sites. The Other Networks segment consists of Spark.com and related other general market Web sites as well as other properties which are primarily composed of sites targeted towards various religious, ethnic, geographic and special interest groups. The Offline & Other Businesses segment consists of revenue generated from offline activities and HurryDate events and subscriptions.

5 Total Average Paying Subscribers excludes results from the company's HurryDate business due to its relative size.

6 ARPU is defined as average revenue per user per month. Total ARPU excludes results from the company's HurryDate business due to its relative size.

7 One month plans may also include a small amount of two month plans. Three month plans may include a small amount of four month plans. Six month plans may include a small amount of twelve month plans.

8 Represents the type of subscriber comprising the average paying subscribers in that period. First Time Subscribers are defined as those subscribers that have never purchased a subscription from the company for that reporting segment. Winback Subscribers are defined as those individuals who have purchased a subscription from the company for that reporting segment, allowed their subscription to lapse, and subsequently purchased a subscription from the company for that reporting segment. Renewal Subscribers are defined as those subscribers that have auto-renewed a subscription from the company for that reporting segment.

   
SPARK NETWORKS, INC.  
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS  
(unaudited, in thousands, except share data)  
   
    December 31,     September 30,  
    2013     2014  
Assets            
Current assets:                
  Cash and cash equivalents   $ 14,723     $ 9,309  
  Restricted cash     1,296       1,124  
  Accounts receivable     1,569       1,457  
  Deferred tax asset - current     10       10  
  Prepaid expenses and other     1,787       935  
    Total current assets     19,385       12,835  
Property and equipment, net     3,901       3,918  
Goodwill     9,305       8,893  
Intangible assets, net     2,269       2,481  
Deferred tax asset - non-current     186       -  
Deposits and other assets     208       244  
    Total assets   $ 35,254     $ 28,371  
                 
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity                
Current liabilities:                
  Accounts payable   $ 1,516     $ 777  
  Accrued liabilities     5,761       4,809  
  Deferred revenue     8,830       7,909  
  Deferred tax liability - current portion     526       526  
    Total current liabilities     16,633       14,021  
Deferred tax liability - non-current     1,781       1,723  
Other liabilities     1,717       1,662  
    Total liabilities     20,131       17,406  
Commitments and contingencies                
Stockholders' equity:                
Authorized capital stock consists of 100,000,000 shares of Common Stock, $0.001 par value; issued and outstanding: 24,274,042 and 24,001,937 shares at Sept 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively:     24       26  
  Additional paid-in-capital     70,747       71,599  
  Accumulated other comprehensive income     776       760  
  Accumulated deficit     (56,424 )     (61,420 )
  Total stockholders' equity     15,123       10,965  
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $ 35,254     $ 28,371  
                     
                     
   
   
SPARK NETWORKS, INC.  
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS  
(unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)  
   
    Three Months Ended September 30,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
    2013     2014     2013     2014  
                                 
Revenue   $ 17,361     $ 15,008     $ 52,205     $ 47,381  
                                 
Cost and expenses:                                
  Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation shown separately below)     13,620       7,004       42,046       28,234  
  Sales and marketing     1,423       1,368       3,972       4,299  
  Customer service     746       738       2,136       2,289  
  Technical operations     288       276       887       917  
  Development     746       886       2,331       2,645  
  General and administrative     2,496       4,446       7,704       11,472  
  Depreciation     529       518       1,454       1,558  
  Amortization of intangible assets     10       10       10       30  
  Impairment of long-lived assets     -       103       265       103  
Total cost and expenses     19,858       15,349       60,805       51,547  
                                 
Operating loss     (2,497 )     (341 )     (8,600 )     (4,166 )
Interest (income) expense and other, net     (77 )     340       (172 )     323  
Loss before income taxes     (2,420 )     (681 )     (8,428 )     (4,489 )
Provision for income taxes     195       288       403       507  
Net loss   $ (2,615 )   $ (969 )   $ (8,831 )   $ (4,996 )
                                 
Net loss per share - basic and diluted   $ (0.11 )   $ (0.04 )   $ (0.39 )   $ (0.21 )
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic and diluted     23,753       24,035       22,410       23,936  
                                 
                                 
Stock-based compensation:
(in thousands)
  Three Months Ended September 30,   Nine Months Ended September 30,
    2013   2014   2013   2014
Cost of revenue   $ -   $ 3   $ -   $ 3
Sales and marketing     36   $ 23     107     99
Technical operations     2     -     4     -
Development     3     -     10     -
General and administrative     153     259     455     511
                         
                         
             
             
Reconciliation of Net Loss to Adjusted EBITDA:
(in thousands)
  Three Months Ended September 30,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
    2013     2014     2013     2014  
                                 
Net loss   $ (2,615 )   $ (969 )   $ (8,831 )   $ (4,996 )
Interest     19       12       53       36  
Taxes     195       288       403       507  
Depreciation     529       518       1,454       1,558  
Amortization     10       10       10       30  
EBITDA     (1,862 )     (141 )     (6,911 )     (2,865 )
Stock-based compensation     194       285       576       613  
Impairment of long-lived assets     -       103       265       103  
Non-recurring proxy and severance     -       1,884       -       3,308  
Non-cash currency translation adjustments     (99 )     327       (215 )     284  
Adjusted EBITDA   $ (1,767 )   $ 2,458       (6,285 )   $ 1,443