This stock is up 1,400% in 5 years, and traders expect more growth

It hasn't been a bad half decade for LendingTree.

Shares of the online loan company have risen some 1,400 percent in the past five years, making it the best performing stock in the broad S&P 1500 index.

Even after that incredible rally, some traders believe the stock continues to have upside potential.

"I would continue to hold my position here in the stock," said Craig Johnson, technical analyst with Piper Jaffray. "At this point, you're not overbought yet."

Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation," Johnson pointed out that the stock's "major uptrend" remains intact, and said he would continue to be bullish on the $83 stock so long as it manages to hold the $70 level.

The analyst community, meanwhile, is markedly bullish on the stock. The median analyst price target is $130, according to FactSet, which implies a more than 50 percent rally from current levels.

Operating under the slogan "When banks compete, you win," LendingTree operates what it terms an "online loan marketplace" where individuals can assess their options for home loans, personal loans and business loans. While the stock has performed well over the past few years, it is actually substantially below the peaks it hit in mid-2015.

"TREE will benefit from the combination of increasing lender demand for online loan leads as a source of low-acquisition cost lending opportunities given the intense competition for organic loan growth and evolving consumer behaviors," Guggenheim analyst Eric Wasserstrom wrote in a recent note.

Yet Stifel Nicolaus portfolio manager Chad Morganlander said that he wouldn't add it to portfolios now.

"We believe that mortgage credit is actually going to continue to accelerate," and "LendingTree may actually be in the sweet spot," Morganlander said Friday. "With that said, I wouldn't be a buyer here. If I owned the stock, I'd hold it, and I'd have a smaller position and consider this a more speculative position in the portfolio."


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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