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Zillow Group makes 'significant progress' on Zillow Offers inventory wind-down

Zillow's board authorized the repurchase of up to $750 million of its Class A and Class C stock as a result of wind-down progress.

Zillow Group announced Thursday that it has made "significant progress" in winding down its Zillow Offers inventory and said "it has either sold, is under contract to sell, or has reached agreement on disposition terms for more than 50% of the homes it expected to resell during the entire wind-down process."

Launched in 2018, Zillow Offers is the company's instant buying, or iBuying, program designed to make it easier for a homeowner to sell their house. Unfortunately for Zillow and homeowners, it's anything but. The home-flipping business has received negative reviews and criticism among sellers and critics over the past few years. As a result, Zillow said it's winding down its Offers operation.

"We've determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated and continuing to scale Zillow Offers would result in too much earnings and balance-sheet volatility," company co-founder and CEO Rich Barton said last month.

Due to the progress made in its Offers wind-down, Zillow has now revised its Homes revenue outlook for the fourth quarter ending December 31 to between $2.3 billion and $2.9 billion. The company had stated in its third quarter letter to shareholders from November 2 that fourth quarter revenue from its Homes segment would be between $1.7 billion and $2.1 billion.

Chief financial officer Allen Parker said the company will further evaluate options that will optimize net cash flows.

The company said it expects the net impact of the wind-down (including inventory losses), operating costs, and restructuring costs to be at least cash-flow neutral, including repaying all Zillow Offers secured debt, which was $2.9 billion as of September 30.

Barton said Thursday that winding down the inventory will enable the company to have "a more capital-efficient balance sheet and business," announcing a share repurchase program to "reduce the cash balance [it] built up to support Zillow Offers." 

Zillow said its board of directors has "authorized the repurchase of up to $750 million of its Class A common stock, Class C capital stock, or a combination of both." The timing and number of shares repurchased will be determined by management based on such factors as "stock price, trading volume, market conditions, and other business considerations," Zillow said.

Last month, the company reported a third quarter non-GAAP loss of $169 million, down 211% from the previous year, attributed to its iBuying division.

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