Editor’s Note: Shah’s been tracking a series of “Disruptors,” powerful change agents that affect broad swaths of our lives. He’s found that these changes occur just before massive profit opportunities. He’s found them in banking and personal finance, the stock market itself, and now they’re appearing in communications and online dating. To get his high-profit “Disruptors” reports, along with all of his Insights & Indictments, click here.
Last week I wrote about my foray into online dating.
But my "hot date" ended up being lukewarm. That's okay – the great thing about online dating is that it is easy to meet other people.
In fact, this reminded me of my days in the trading pits: If a promising opportunity didn't work out as hoped, you took the loss quickly and moved on – knowing there were lots of other opportunities out there.
In a world where folks are busier than ever, that ability to find new opportunities – to easily meet new people – is the big attraction to online dating. That's why it has become a $2 billion business.
And that leads me to an online site that might be a really good investment. I'll tell you about it here….
Barry the Billionaire
When it comes to online dating, Match.com is the biggest player in the game and may be worth a date with some of your investing dollars.
One reason I like Match.com is that the venture has already been matched up itself.
Match.com is part of the Match Group. The Match Group includes the free online dating service OkCupid and Tinder, the newest and hottest dating service in the market.
But you can't buy shares in the Match Group – at least not yet (I'll explain that in a minute) – because the Match Group isn't an independent company.
You can, however, invest in the company that owns the Match Group. That company is billionaire Barry Diller's conglomeration of Internet-media assets that goes by the name IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI).
IAC/Interactive has a lot of brands you know, including HomeAdvisor, About.com, Ask.com, Investopedia, Dictionary.com, The Daily Beast, Vimeo, and lots of others.
But it is IAC's Match Group that I'm "in like" with. The Match Group within IAC includes Match.com, OkCupid, Chemistry.com, and Tinder.
Match.com, on its own, operates in 24 countries and 15 languages. It's one of the brightest stars in the IAC portfolio. But Tinder is coming up fast, and management thinks it's going to be a huge revenue generator down the road.
A Heck of a Track Record
One reason I like the Match Group is that according to the last 2014 Pew Internet Survey, 59% of respondents considered online dating a "good way" to meet people. That's up from 44% in 2005.
Another reason I like the Match Group is that it's the big revenue source at IAC. While IAC's stock has done well in 2014 and 2015 and is a whisper away from its 52-week highs, it's the Match Group that interests me. And the fact that the Match Group is set up within the company as an almost self-contained business with its own management leads me to believe it might be in Diller's best interest to have IAC spin off the Match Group.
Diller's no stranger to piecing together and splitting up assets. He spun Ticketmaster out of IAC, and it later merged with Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: LYV). And he spun Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) out of IAC, and it's been a grand slam for investors in that stock.
I would love to see the Match Group spun out of IAC and become an independently traded company. If that happens – and the possibility exists, for sure – I'd be a big buyer of the stock. If that happens, you might want to pick up some shares, too.
(If you already own shares of IAC, there's also a chance the Match Group gets spun out to existing IAC shareholders.)
In the meantime, you can buy shares of IAC/Interactive. I like the company, mostly because of the Match Group. But with more than $3.14 billion in revenue and a net profit of more than $440 million, Diller's company is worth buying.
The Way to Play
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.