Spark Networks Reports Q4 2010 Financial Results - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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F Smalley

So, let me get this straight: according to http://www.spark.net/press/Q42010EarningsRelease.htm, in Q 4 2010 Spark made $10.1M in gross revenue and a measly $600K in net profit? That’s a 6% return, in an industry where average return is 25-50%+.

Let’s break this down: $6.9M of that revenue was from JDate, or 68% of total revenue. That site has always been massively profitable for Spark. At least 80% of that $6.9M was likely profit, or around $5.5M.

Yet, total profit for Spark was $600K. Hmmm. That means that they spent a whopping $4.9M of their JDate profit to massively subsidize *the other 25 or so* of their singles properties.

If you look at their prior statements (going back years and years), you'll see this same subsidizing going on.

What I don’t get is why the investors over at Spark permit this wholesale flushing-JDate-profits-down-the-toilet nonsense quarter after quarter after quarter, year after year after year.

I pity the investors.

Meantime, the successful players continue to rack up gi-normous profits, as they have actual business sense and don’t subsidize consistent money-losers.

Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com

OUCH! I'm glad we're not public - none of anyone's business how we are doing. And, with no outside investors, don't have to put up with disgruntled people getting upset at us.

Mark, your thoughts on the dating companies you've invested in?

Mark Brooks

I invested and exited, ages ago. Otherwise, under full disclosure, I would have mentioned that I held stocks. ;-)

Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com

Wasn't it Spark and Match (and maybe some others) you owned? How come you exited? Lack of confidence in them? Or, did you make a quick buck, then sold?:)

Mark Brooks

I picked up Spark Networks, made bank, and exited at the peak. I didn't get around to picking up Match/IAC, in the end. I bought a new home so moved most of my investments into the new home. Now I'm investing in Fool.com recommendations. Also in European companies with international, especially Asian interests.

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