Seeking Alpha

Zillow (Z)

  • Tue, Feb. 17, 5:30 PM
    • With the FTC having ended its review of the deal (as disclosed last Friday), Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) has officially closed its $2.5B all-stock merger with Trulia (NYSE:TRLA). The merged company will begin trading under Zillow's ticker tomorrow, and be known as Zillow Group.
    • Notably, Trulia COO Paul Levine will run Trulia post-merger; Trulia CEO Pete Flint will join Zillow Group's board, as will former Trulia director Greg Waldorf.
    • Zillow Group plans to cut 280 jobs in Q1 (mostly redundant sales/admin positions), and another 70 in Q2. Once the cuts are done, the company will have ~2K employees.
    • Zillow rose 2.5% in regular trading in the wake of its Q4 report and FTC announcement. Trulia rose 3.1%.
    | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Jan. 23, 11:27 AM
    • Zillow (Z +11.6%) and Trulia (TRLA +13.2%) have skyrocketed in morning trading. The FTC staff has reportedly recommended approving the companies' all-stock merger.
    • Zillow/Trulia agreed last year not to close their deal before Feb. 1, to give the FTC time to thoroughly review. Earlier this month, industry insider Brad Inman reported hearing the FTC would sign off on the deal (as has been generally expected). The combined company's share of online agent advertising has been in focus.
    • Separately, Zillow has announced Zillow Pro for Brokers (a free program for real estate brokers that aims to improve listings and grow leads) now has over 5K nationwide partners, up over 2x since last July.
    | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 3, 2014, 5:27 PM
    • The FTC has made a second request for information from Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) and Trulia (NYSE:TRLA) regarding their planned merger. The companies say they're "gathering information to respond promptly to the second request."
    • Though generally expected to be approved, the merger has caused some angst among real estate agents worried the combined entity will have too much market power.
    • Zillow and Trulia have tried to soothe those concerns by promising their brands will stay independent, though ad services/marketing platforms will be integrated. The deal is expected to close in 2015.
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 12:47 PM
    • Zillow's (Z -1.5%) purchase of Trulia (TRLA +13.3%) signals Zillow plans to create a portfolio of online real estate assets much as InterActiveCorp has created a portfolio of online dating assets, says CEO Spencer Rascoff. "What's taking shape is the creation of a real estate media company." Move (MOVE +8.9%) investors might be pleased to hear that.
    • Though Trulia's brand will stay independent, Zillow and Trulia predict the deal will yield at least $100M/year in cost savings by 2016. Other expected synergies include: 1) Better real estate data for consumers thanks to data-sharing between Zillow/Trulia. 2) Common ad services/marketing platforms that can yield a better ROI. 3) Broader listing distribution.
    • The companies note they still only account for 4% of estimated U.S. real estate marketing spend of $12B/year. Zillow has 83M monthly unique users, and Trulia 54M (some overlap exists).
    • Street commentary has been quite positive. Macquarie: "This could pave the way to these companies becoming more profitable more quickly." CRT Capital: "At the end of the day, this provides scale. And scale ultimately leads to more advertising on the overall network."
    • Prior Zillow/Trulia coverage
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 8:37 AM
    • The combined company will maintain both the Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) and Trulia (NYSE:TRLA) brands, and Trulia CEO Pete Flint will remain so, reporting to Zillow chief Spencer Rascoff.
    • As for terms, Trulia owners will receive 0.444 shares of Zillow for each share of Trulia they hold, valuing Trulia at a 25% premium to its Friday close.
    • A conference call is set for 9 ET.
    • Source: Press Release
    • TRLA +16.8% to $65.76, Z -2.6% to $154.70 premarket
  • Jul. 25, 2014, 1:53 PM
    • "It's a blockbuster ... What this says is, Zillow has been and has locked up the absolute dominant position in online real estate in the United States,” says real estate analyst Steve Murray on reports Zillow (Z +4.6%) is looking to acquire Trulia (TRLA +2%).
    • Barclays' Christopher Merwin predicts a merger would "dramatically increase the combined entity's pricing power" with real estate agents, and would yield more leverage in price negotiations with MLSs. Zillow just bought MLS data-integration software platform provider Retsly.
    • Murray admits there could be a backlash to the deal, stating "the industry will be concerned ... if you have one huge, overwhelmingly dominant player" for whom agents "will be almost compelled" to list on.
    • Bloomberg reports Zillow could pay for 1/3 of the purchase in cash (implies a $667M cash payment at a $2B acquisition price), and 2/3 in stock. Zillow had $446M in cash/investments at the end of Q1.
    • While Zillow and Trulia continue to rally, Move (MOVE -2.8%) is now below where it traded before the first merger report broke.
  • Jul. 24, 2014, 2:23 PM
    • A source tells Bloomberg Zillow (Z +18.8%) could value Trulia (TRLA +28.7%) at up to $2B in a deal. That would imply an acquisition price of ~$54/share.
    • The source adds a deal could be announced as soon as next week. Bloomberg cautions talks remain ongoing.
    • The rumored price represents a ~33% premium to Trulia's Wednesday close. Nonetheless, it values the company at 6x 2015E sales, a multiple well below the 12x sported by Zillow as of yesterday's close.
    • Perhaps more importantly, there's plenty of enthusiasm on the Street for a deal that would create a clear-cut leader in what remains a very fragmented online real estate market that still only accounts for a small (but growing) fraction of total U.S. real estate services spend.
    • Earlier: Zillow reportedly looking to buy Trulia
  • Jul. 24, 2014, 2:05 PM
    • Bloomberg reports Zillow (Z +18%) is looking to acquire Trulia (TRLA +21.6%). Shares of both companies have skyrocketed in response. Move (MOVE +5.2%) is also getting a lift.
    • The report comes 9 days after Realogy announced it's buying ZipRealty for a 100%+ premium.
    • Zillow's market cap is currently at $5.9B, and Trulia's at $1.9B.
  • Jul. 16, 2014, 5:01 PM
    • Vancouver-based Retsly offers a platform (replete with an API) that allows real estate app developers to integrate data from multiple listing services (MLSs), and also provides MLSs tools for managing and tracking real estate apps/data. (PR)
    • CEO Spencer Rascoff: "Retsly's platform will spur tremendous innovation in the real estate space, enabling developers to build software that works across MLS boundaries and without the overhead of dealing with local data formats."
    • The purchase price is undisclosed. Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) plans to add Retsly's offerings to its Tech Connect program (launched last November), which allows 3rd-party software/service providers used by brokers and agents to integrate their systems with Zillow's. The company recently announced it now has 25 Tech Connect partners.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 15, 2014, 4:15 PM
    • The online real estate space heats up some more with Realogy's (NYSE:RLGY) all-cash, $166M deal to buy ZipRealty (NASDAQ:ZIPR). The price works out to $6.75 per share vs. today's close of $3.02.
    • The purchase adds ZipRealty's residential brokerage operations with 23 U.S. offices and its integrated real estate technology platform to Realogy's operations. ZIPR last year closed $2.7B in property sales, giving it $76M in revenue and $32M of gross profit. Realogy expects EBITDA contribution from the purchase to be about $20M annually within the next three years.
    • Zillow (NASDAQ:Z+0.3%, TRLA +0.4%, MOVE +0.3% AH
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 14, 2013, 11:33 AM
    • Wells Fargo reports Realogy (RLGY +3.3%) execs downplayed the possibility their company or a rival would acquire an online real estate platform such as Trulia (TRLA -3.5%) during an investor meeting yesterday.
    • Realogy pointed out such an acquisition would likely lead rival real estate brokers to pull their inventory from the acquired company.
    • Previous: Trulia jumps following Realogy M&A rumor
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 13, 2013, 3:13 PM
    • A rumor that real estate services giant Realogy (RLGY +1.3%) is looking to acquire Trulia (TRLA +8%), perhaps for $52/share, has led Trulia's shares to spike in afternoon trading.
    • Zillow (Z +3.9%) is also up strongly on the day. Both Trulia and Zillow were already rallying on what has been a good day for Internet momentum plays.
    • 15% of Trulia's float was shorted as of Oct. 31.
  • Aug. 19, 2013, 7:23 AM
    • The offering will consist of 2.5M shares of freshly minted stock along with more than 2.5M shares being offered by certain existing shareholders. The greenshoe option is for about 750K shares. The current float is 34.55M shares.
    • Zillow (Z) is also acquiring NYC real estate website StreetEasy for $50M in cash. The site attracts nearly 1.2M monthly home shopping users in the New York region. "Simply put, StreetEasy has cracked the code in New York," says Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, who has called New York City a "glaring hole" for his company.
    • Sources: Press releases - offering, purchase.
    | Comment!
  • May 8, 2013, 8:44 AM
    Trulia (TRLA) buys Market Leader (LEDR) for $355M in a deal slated to close in Q3. The acquisition price of $11.33 a share for the CRM software firm marks a 18% premium over LEDR's closing price yesterday.
    | Comment!
  • Jan. 23, 2013, 10:27 AM
    Real estate sites Zillow (Z +3.1%) and Trulia (TRLA +9.1%) are on the move as M&A speculation makes the rounds. Benzinga says it's "hearing unconfirmed chatter" of a $45/share Google or Realogy bid for Zillow. What is confirmed is that half of Zillow's float, and nearly 1/5 of Trulia's float, was shorted as of Dec. 31.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 26, 2012, 4:31 PM
    Zillow (Z) is acquiring real estate search engine HotPads for $16M in cash. HotPads, which lists properties for rent and sale on its site and mobile apps, claimed 2.8M unique users in October; 70% of their views involved rentals. The purchase, which Zillow calls its first involving a "primarily consumer-facing company," strengthens Zillow Rentals and follows the recent purchases of Buyfolio, Mortech, and RentJuice. Will Trulia (TRLA) return fire by acquiring a rival such as PadMapper or Lovely?
    | Comment!
Visit Seeking Alpha's
Z vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Zillow Group Incoperates the real estate and home-related information marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products to help people find vital information about homes and connect with local professionals.