Zillow Group Sustains Its Momentum With Another Beat and Raise

By Steve SymingtonMarketsFool.com

Zillow Group Inc.(NASDAQ: Z)(NASDAQ: ZG)released better-than-expected first-quarter 2017 results on Thursday after the market closed, highlighting broad strength across each of its platforms and record monthly unique users to end the quarter.

Continue Reading Below

Let's peek in the windows, then, to see what drove the online real estate specialist's business as it started the new year, as well as what investors should expect in the coming quarters.


Zillow Group results: The raw numbers

More From Fool.com

Data source: Zillow Group.

What happened this quarter?

  • On an adjusted (non-GAAP) basis, which adds perspective by excluding items like stock-based compensation and acquisition expenses, Zillow Group's net income was $21.9 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, up from a net loss of $22.8 million, or $0.13 per share in the same year-ago period.
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was $54.8 million, or 22% of revenue, up from $1.9 million, or 1% of revenue in last year's first quarter.
  • These results were well above Zillow's guidance for revenue of $232 million to $237 million and adjusted EBITDA of $36 million to $41 million.
  • Marketplace revenue increased 36.3%, to $230.3 million, including:
  • 30.3% growth in Premier Agent revenue, to $175.3 million, above guidance for $170 million to $172 million
  • 93.3% growth in "other" real estate revenue -- including businesses like agent services, dotloop, StreetEasy, Naked Apartments, and rentals -- to just under $34.8 million, also above guidance for $31 million to $32 million.
  • 23.2% growth in mortgages revenue, to $20.3 million, above guidance for $17 million to $18 million.
  • Display revenue declined 9.2%, to just over $15.4 million, above guidance for $14 million to $15 million. Recall that Zillow previously decided to de-emphasize display ads in an effort to focus on improving its user experience.
  • Monthly unique users across all Zillow Group brands' mobile apps and websites increased 6.7% year over year during the quarter, to 166.6 million, including an all-time high of nearly 180 million in March.
  • The number of Premier Agent accounts spending over $500 per month climbed 98% year over year, and rose 96% on a total dollar basis.
  • Sales to Premier Agents who have been customers for over a year rose 54%, and sales to existing Premier Agents comprised 63% of total bookings.

What management had to say

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff elaborated:

Looking forward

For the second quarter of 2017, Zillow expects revenue of $257 million to $262 million, including Premier Agent revenue of $185 million to $187 million, other real estate revenue of $36 million to $37 million, mortgages revenue of $20 million to $21 million, and display revenue of $16 million to $17 million. Zillow also expects second-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $27 million to $32 million.

Finally, Zillow increased its full-year guidance to call for 2017 revenue of $1.050 billion to $1.065 billion (up from $1.03 billion to $1.05 billion previously) and adjusted EBITDA of $215 million to $230 million (up from $190 million to $210 million previously).

In short, this was a straightforward beat-and-raise scenario from Zillow Group. As more users continue to flock to its various online real estate platforms, more agents recognize the value offered by those platforms and keep coming back for more. As Zillow's reach continues to grow to this end -- and keeping in mind shares were already up nearly 60% over the past year as of Thursday's close -- I suspect Zillow Group stock will inevitably follow suit over the long term.

10 stocks we like better than Zillow Group (A shares)When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Zillow Group (A shares) wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of May 1, 2017

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zillow Group (A shares) and Zillow Group (C shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.