6 Reasons Zillow Is Still Extremely Overpriced
Jake Huneycutt • 33 Comments
Jake Huneycutt • 33 Comments
Zillow: Misunderstanding Fuels $770 Price Target
Weighing Machine • 26 Comments
Weighing Machine • 26 Comments
Fri, Aug. 5, 11:10 AM
- Zillow, (Z, ZG) posted Q2 results yesterday with a 21% Y/Y increase in revenue and an all-time high of over 171M unique visitors, but eyes have shifted to continued net losses and steep legal expenses.
- The company reported GAAP net loss of $156.1M vs. a net loss of $38.7M for the same period last year. The majority of this quarter's figure is attributed to $142.5M in litigation settlement expenses.
- Adjusted EBITDA was -$101.3M vs. $21M in Q2 2015. This figure is similarly attributed to legal costs. Excluding the litigation impact, adjusted EBITDA would have been $28.7M.
- Investors, though, are not interested in what would have been as the company continues to trade lower following the report.
- Zillow Group-A (ZG) shares are up more than 30% on a 3-month basis and more than 40% on a 1-year basis. Group-C (Z) shares are up nearly 40% and more than 45% on a 3-month and 1-year basis, respectively.
Mon, Jun. 6, 5:36 PM
- Zillow (Z, ZG) has settled a lawsuit filed by News Corp.-owned (NWS, NWSA) Move Inc., the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and three related entities for $130M. The settlement doesn't contain any admission of wrongdoing. (8-K filing)
- Move had sued Zillow for trade secret theft over its hiring of two former Move execs - chief industry development officer Errol Samuelson and MLS partnerships VP Curt Beardsley - and had claimed $2B in damages. Zillow sold off last month after receiving a mixed ruling in the suit regarding allegations the hired execs destroyed evidence that could've helped Move's case.
- Z +8.5% after hours to $32.90. ZG +4% to $32.00. Legal costs related to the lawsuit have had a big impact on Zillow's bottom line.
Mon, Jun. 6, 5:35 PM
Fri, Jun. 3, 7:08 PM
- Zillow (Z +0.7%) has cleared at least some of its legal entanglements, settling four federal suits over harassment and discrimination and coming to settlement terms on a class-action suit regarding overtime pay at its Irvine, Calif., office.
- Zillow admits no wrongdoing in the suits, which range from sexual harassment to racial and age discrimination. The company admitted in court documents that sexually explicit texts sent to a female employee were inappropriate but that the harassment claim was frivolous.
- In the class action, at least 120 hourly sales consultants charged the company with pressuring workers into working early, late and through breaks without pay. That involves about $5M in overtime pay; a "settlement in principle" has been reached, but not yet ratified by the judge.
- Zillow is headed into a high-profile trial against Move Inc. set to begin Monday, regarding Move executives who jumped to Zillow in 2014 (and the effects of those moves on a failed Move-Trulia merger that led to Zillow's acquisition of Trulia).
Wed, May 18, 5:40 PM
- In a response to today's rulings in its trade-secrets case against Zillow, Move Inc. (NWS, NWSA) says it's pleased with the actions and is looking forward to presenting evidence to a jury June 6.
- That, despite the fact that the company would have preferred a more declaratory judgment to end the case in its favor.
- The judge allowed an instruction that allows the jury to infer that destroyed evidence could have helped Move's case, or hurt Zillow's. Curt Beardsley -- who left Move along with Errol Samuelson for Zillow -- had testified that he had erased files from Zillow computers to cover up viewing of pornography, in what Zillow chief Spencer Rascoff called a "knucklehead" move.
- "This important ruling validates our claim that one of Zillow's top executives, Curt Beardsley, acted with 'willfulness and bad faith' in destroying evidence, and his actions have 'prejudiced plaintiffs' ability to prosecute their case,' " Move says. It adds that the case has cost Zillow more than $40M, "making the two poached executives among the most expensive in corporate history."
- Meanwhile, Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), which declined as much 6.6% in the ruling's aftermath, recovered quickly to close up 2.8% on the day, and has added another 0.8% in gains after hours.
- Updated 7:25 p.m.: Zillow looks forward to the trial as well: "We applaud the Court’s decision with respect to Zillow and Errol Samuelson, which validates what we already knew: that during the pre-trial hearing, News Corp did not offer evidence that Zillow or Errol did anything wrong or that the we failed to live up to our obligations in this case. ... Ultimately this comes down to News Corp. trying to win in the courts, since they aren’t winning in the court of consumer opinion."
- Now read Dual Share Class Arbitrage Opportunity With News Corp. »
Wed, May 18, 3:04 PM
- The Washington state judge handling a Move lawsuit against Zillow (Z -3.1%) has denied a Move motion for sanctions against Zillow in response to allegations two former Move execs hired by Zillow destroyed evidence. But he also granted Move (owned by News Corp.) a jury instruction that will allow the jury to infer the missing evidence would have benefited Move's case or hurt Zillow's.
- Move has sued Zillow for trade secret theft, while claiming its rival owes $2B in damages related to the theft and the related destruction of documents. Errol Samuelson, one of the execs who left Move for Zillow, was previously Move's chief strategy officer and is now Zillow's chief industry development officer.
- Zillow forecast earlier this month legal costs related to its battle with Move/News Corp. will have a $50M-$55M impact on 2016 adjusted EBITDA.
Wed, May 4, 9:10 AM
Tue, May 3, 4:39 PM
- Zillow's (Z, ZG) core Marketplace revenue rose 23% Y/Y in Q1 on a merger-adjusted basis to $169M, an improvement from Q4's 14% growth. Helping out: Average revenue per Premier Agent advertiser (ARPA) rose 40% Y/Y to $487, as Zillow's strategy of focusing on higher-value Premier Agent clients pays off.
- Within the Marketplace segment, real estate revenue rose 34% to $152.5M, and mortgages revenue 65% to $16.5M. Display ad revenue, which is being de-emphasized, fell 34% to $17M. Zillow notes sales to Premier Agent clients who have been customers for over a year rose 56%, and that sales to those spending more than $5K/month rose 83% on a dollar basis.
- Monthly unique users rose 22% Y/Y in March to over 166M (a new high), and averaged over 156M in Q1. Zillow claims a record online real estate audience share of 63% for March (per comScore), with a 72% share on mobile.
- Though sales guidance has been hiked, full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance remains at $115M-$125M. Legal costs related to the News Corp. suit are expected to have a $50M-$55M impact. 2016 capex guidance is at $41M-$43M.
- Z +12.3% after hours to $28.13. ZG +13.3% to $29.15.
- Zillow's results/guidance, earnings release
Tue, May 3, 4:16 PM| Tue, May 3, 4:16 PM | 7 Comments
Thu, Apr. 14, 6:07 PM
- Testimony continues in the $1.77B legal battle between real estate firms Move (NWS, NWSA) and Zillow Group (NASDAQ:Z), with Zillow chief Spencer Rascoff denying in court that Errol Samuelson had offered to share trade secrets.
- Move -- which runs Realtor.com -- is charging that Samuelson and Curt Beardsley divulged trade secrets in leaving Move for Zillow in 2014, and that they covered that up by deleting files from various devices.
- Rascoff says he disciplined Curt Beardsley, an executive who left Move for Zillow, over sloppiness in destroying and erasing devices. “Curt made a number of decisions that exhibited bad judgment that I can only describe as knucklehead moves,” Rascoff testified; Beardsley testified that he had erased files from Zillow computers because he had used them in viewing pornography.
- Rascoff also said Samuelson didn't offer to share any Move trade secrets, "and if he had, I would have hung up the phone at that very moment." Zillow has called the charges "baseless."
- Now read Will Seasonality Return At Zillow? »
Tue, Mar. 22, 9:38 AM
- Declaring a survey for ~470 real estate agents to be positive for Zillow (Z +6.5%, ZG +6.5%), RBC's Mark Mahaney has upgraded the online real estate leader to Outperform, and hiked his target by $13 to $34.
- RBC's survey found online real estate adoption remains significant, Zillow's share among agents is at a record high, agents are most likely to up their spend on Zillow, and that Zillow is strong with agents spending over $500/month on online ads.
- Mahaney adds the NAR's most recent profile of home buyers/sellers showed growing reliance on the Internet by buyers, and that Q1 comScore data indicates Zillow's traffic is up 21% Q/Q and 34% Y/Y (unique visitors stand at 65M).
- Insider buys, a "relatively attractive valuation setup," and a belief "Street estimates have been sufficiently de-risked" are also seen as reasons to be bullish.
Tue, Mar. 22, 9:20 AM
Wed, Mar. 2, 9:46 AM| Wed, Mar. 2, 9:46 AM | 2 Comments
Thu, Feb. 25, 12:31 PM
- After having disclosed earlier this week Technology Crossover Ventures bought (through its Mariner Investor II fund) 700K Zillow Class C shares (Z +2.5%) last Thursday and Friday, director Jay Hoag has disclosed TCV bought another 935K shares on Monday at $20.03.
- TCV/Mariner also owns 375K Zillow Class A shares (ZG +2.8%). Both share classes are moving higher on a quiet morning for equities.
- In other news, Zillow/Trulia rival Zumper is acquiring fellow apartment-listing site PadMapper. Zumper, which allows prospective renters to submit applications through its site, reported having 4M monthly visits as of January.
Tue, Feb. 23, 10:06 AM
- Zillow (Z +9.3%, ZG +7.7%) director/VC Jay Hoag discloses his firm (Technology Crossover Ventures) bought 700K Class C shares (NASDAQ:Z) last Thursday and Friday through its Mariner Investor II fund at prices ranging from $19.49-$20.25. His total purchase price was $13.8M. (source: InsiderInsights.com)
- The vote of confidence comes with the online real estate leader trading far below its 2014 highs (hit around the time the Trulia deal was announced) on a split-adjusted basis. The Class C shares are up 21% since Zillow posted mixed Q4 results and sales guidance on Feb. 11. 2015 EPS was hurt by $8.1M in News Corp. litigation expenses.
Thu, Feb. 11, 5:58 PM
- Zillow (Z, ZG) has guided on its earnings call for Q1 revenue of $174M-$179M, below a $180M consensus. However, 2016 revenue guidance of $805M-$815M is above a $796.8M consensus.
- Top-line performance: Marketplace revenue rose 14% Y/Y to $148.3M, with real estate revenue rising 27% to $136.6M and mortgages revenue 48% to $11.7M. Display ad revenue fell 25% to $21.1M as Zillow continues de-emphasizing display ads.
- Metrics: Agent advertisers totaled 92,366 at the end of Q4, up 48% Y/Y but down 5% Q/Q. Zillow has said it cares less now about agent count than growing revenue from high-ARPA agents. Monthly unique users fell to 123.7M from Q3's 142.1M (seasonality played a role).
- Financials: GAAP costs/expenses totaled $195.7M - $77.8M was spent on sales/marketing, $55.8M on tech and R&D, and $45.9M on G&A. Zillow ended Q4 with $520M in cash and $230M in debt.
- Z -11% after hours to $16.00. ZG -10.8% to $17.10.
- Zillow's Q4 results, earnings release