Zillow stock soars: Q4 revenue tops expectations as it unwinds home buying

Zillow said its "Homes" business exceeded the company's outlook 'as the wind-down of iBuying operations progressed faster than anticipated.'
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Real estate listings company Zillow this afternoon reported Q4 revenue and profit that both topped Wall Street's expectations but an Ebitda loss that was larger than expected.

The report follows a report in November in which Zillow said it would end its home-buying effort amidst a massive rise in debt to fund purchases. 

The report sent Zillow shares slightly higher in late trading. 

CEO Richard Barton remarked that the company "has a rock-solid financial foundation and a core IMT business in which we are reporting record profits today," referring to the company's "Internet, Media & Technology" division, the second-largest part of the business after the Homes division, which had swelled last year as Zillow sought to compete with Opendoor in buying homes.

Added Barton, "More interestingly, we have major untapped business potential due to our leading audience, brand, partner network, and R&D leadership."

In 2021, we estimate that nearly one-quarter of all buyers in the U.S. reached out to connect with Zillow during their shopping process, yet we only generated revenue on an estimated 3% of total customer transactions. We're investing aggressively in innovations that help both buyers and sellers by delivering an integrated set of tech-enabled solutions on our 'housing super app' along with our excellent partners. We know millions of movers today start with Zillow, and in the future, we plan to be with them every step of their journey."

Revenue in the three months ended in December rose to $3.9 billion, yielding a consolidated adjusted Ebitda loss of $434,000.

Analysts had been modeling $3.29 billion and a $213,000 Ebitda loss.

Zillow's net loss per diluted share was 42 cents, better than the consensus for a 90-cent loss per share. 

Also: Zillow says difficulty of forecasting, huge capital need felled home buying business

Zillow said the Homes segment revenue of $3.3 billion for Q4 "well exceeded the company's outlook as the wind-down of iBuying operations progressed faster than anticipated."

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