LendingTree increased its earnings guidance by 40 percent on Tuesday, saying the company should earn 14 cents per share for the first quarter of 2003.

LendingTree (Nasdaq: TREE) also increased its net income forecast to $4.1 million, up from $2.7 million, based on estimated revenues of $35 million.

“We are experiencing strong growth throughout most segments of our business,” said Doug Lebda, LendingTree’s founder and chief executive officer. He cited stronger than expected growth in its new telephone sales channel as one reason for increased revenues.

New mortgage requests increased 30 percent and home equity loans increased 15 percent so far this quarter, he added.

LendingTree: www.lendingtree.com