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Zillow sees record first-quarter sales; CEO Rascoff says, 'we're investing heavily to feed this growth'

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Zillow (Z), the online real estate marketplace, said revenue grew to $66.2 million in the first quarter, above consensus estimates of $63.2 million and up 70% versus a year ago. The company reported a net loss of $6.26 million in Q1 compared to a loss of $3.75 million in Q1 2013. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff attributed the decline in net revenue to an increase in advertising spending.

"We’re spending tens of millions of dollars in online and off-line advertising...because we feel the size of this opportunity warrants it," Rascoff says in the video above. "We are investing very heavily to feed this growth."

On a GAAP basis, Zillow lost 16 cents per share in the quarter vs. 11 cents a year ago but less than the 24 cent per share consenus. On a non-GAAP basis, Zillow earned 2 cents per share, far exceeding the consensus for a loss of 8 cents.

"We beat the Street up and down the line," Rascoff says. 

After falling 9% in the regular session Wednesday, Zillow shares were up 1% in recent after-hours trading.

Zillow said 79 million unique users visited its site in April, a 50% year-over-year gain. More than 460 million homes were viewed on Zillow via a mobile device -- or about 178 homes per second, noted Rascoff.

The company also shared details about its Zestimate forecast, a tool that predicts what homes will be worth 12 months from now. Rascoff says 96% of the 50 million homes with a Zestimate forecast are expected to rise in value from their current prices. 

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