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Investors Flip Out of Trulia

Q3 sales surged, but a wider loss spooks shareholders


Real estate search engine Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) reported underwhelming third-quarter results Tuesday that sent shares reeling by about 25% since then … and had investors feeling fidgety about rival Trulia (NYSE:TRLA).

Now, they’re downright flighty.

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After sliding roughly 4% since Zillow reported, Trulia shares really fell off the cliff Thursday morning following its own disappointing earnings report. TRLA was down about 14% in midday trading to $18.39 — still above its September IPO price of $17 per share, but down 23% after its first-day bump.

In the third quarter, revenues spiked by 76% to $18.5 million to beat the Street consensus of $17 million.  But perhaps investors wanted to see more on the top-line.

Despite this, the fact remains that Trulia continues to get traction with its mobile business.  In the quarter, the company got 5.8 million monthly unique visitors from mobile devices, up 129% year-over-year. Trulia pointed out that about a third of traffic on weekends comes from mobile devices.

TRLA has continued to devote more engineering resources to its mobile apps and has a broad-platform strategy. It has offerings not only for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices, but also for (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindles and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 systems.

Similar to Zillow, Trulia has been on the right side of mobile monetization. After all, mobile users in the real estate arena are often more engaged — they’re looking for homes to buy while on the go, and when they see something they like, they want to contact an agent. This often means high-value leads.

In the near-term future, things look good: TRLA forecast current-quarter revenues would grow at least 60% to a range of $18.8 million to $19.2 million, ahead of analyst expectations.

But most promising is that Trulia’s in a very early-stage market with enormous potential. According to Borell & Associates, about $24 billion will be spent on real estate marketing in 2012 — and TRLA has put itself in position to see a nice chunk of that.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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