Real estate web portal Zillow (Z) reported second-quarter earnings that disappointed Wall Street a bit, setting up the likelihood that Zillow stock will open Wednesday trading a few percent lower.
But don’t move away from Z stock just yet — the pullback makes this growth stock look more attractive.
First the numbers: Zillow reported a second-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, a penny higher than the consensus estimate. Z beat on the top line, however, with $78.7 million — analysts had expected $76.5 million for the second quarter. That also represented 68% revenue growth — a clear positive for Zillow, which is making a habit of exceeding revenue expectations.
After its first-quarter revenue beat the Street, Z raised its full-year outlook to a range of $304 million to $308 million — on Tuesday, it raised full-year guidance again to between $321 million and $323 million.
For digital businesses like Zillow, revenue growth is all about the traffic. Zillow’s second-quarter traffic grew by 45% year-over-year hitting nearly 89 million unique mobile and desktop users last month.
Despite Zillow’s earnings miss, there’s clearly a lot to like about its report. On top of that, here are three more reasons Z stock could be a buy now:
- Trulia Deal: On July 28, Zillow announced it had inked a $3.5 billion, all-stock deal to acquire rival Trulia (TRLA), the nation’s second-largest real estate website. Under the deal, Trulia shareholders will receive 0.44 shares of Zillow for every share of Trulia they own. TRLA shares rose on the announcement, then dipped last Thursday after the company reported a higher year-over-year loss in the second quarter. TRLA’s revenue growth remained strong, however, and while its 38-cent per-share loss was greater than the penny it lost in the year-ago quarter, it was less than the 42-cent loss analysts expected. Although Z plans to operate Trulia as a separate brand, it believes the deal can deliver $100 million in cost savings by 2016.
- Strong Mobility Growth: Most services-based companies are seeing strong growth in mobile access, and Zillow is no exception. While the growth rate of desktop access to Zillow has slowed quarter-over-quarter — from 20% in the first quarter down to 9% in the second — mobile access growth surged by more than 120%. Zillow’s 27 million mobile visits for the first time exceeded its desktop accesses, illustrating a potentially transformational trend for the real estate services sector.
- A Big Slice of a $12 Billion Annual Real Estate Advertising Spend: In a real estate advertising market that spends $12 billion a year, digital advertising now dominates. Real estate professionals dedicated more than 70% of their marketing spending to online advertising in 2013 — and between them, a combined Zillow-Trulia could deliver more than 68 million unique users, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Z stock has surged so far this year — the stock has gained 76% year-to-date — but after hitting a 52-week high on July 28 after the TRLA deal hit the news, Z stock has slumped by nearly 10%.
Although Zillow has a pretty rich valuation, I’m optimistic about further strong revenue growth. If all goes well with the Trulia deal, $100 million in cost savings by 2016 is bound to have an impact on profits.
Right now, I think the pullback in Z stock could be a good opportunity for a growth-oriented investor.
As of this writing, Susan J. Aluise did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.