Zillow announces lower unique monthly visitors for December
Very interesting to read todays press release from Zillow, announcing the Century 21 strategic marketing renewal, quotes a monthly 34.7 unique monthly visitors for December 2012. WOW thats not flat, but a reduction from the 36 million visitors in September. Fascinating that Zillow announce this 5% reduction in users via a 'good news' press release rather than the usual SEC 8-K filing. Do they think they can get away with sneaking this disastrous news through the back door like this? Or did chief revenue officer let the cat out the bag without CFO Chad Cohens or CEO Spencer Rascoff approving the press release.
My personal experience with Zillow leads to the #$%$-up theory as they are not smart enough to execute a conspiracy. The way they have screwed up the zestimate on my home is proof of incompetence if any was needed, aided with extra helpings of arrogance where they refuse all reasonable requests to correct or delete the erroneous valuation.
The 34.7m unique visitors mentioned in the Zillow press release is even more disastrous if it includes the newly acquired Hotpads and Mortech unique visitor numbers as well. Hotpads alone had 2.8M unique visitors in October so that would infer Zillows visitors plummeted in the last quarter. I guess we will have to wait until Zillow files its SEC 8-K form in early February to find out the real situation.
It always intrigues me when I see that comments defending a situation is a 1st time posting. Why would someone create a yahoo identity just to make an innocuous comment that the decline is seasonable? Maybe a Zillow insider? My post was reflecting on how Zillow stock price crashed 18% in one session following the 3rd quarter earnings call comment that display revenues would be flat in the 3rd quarter. The reality, based on the press releases, is that that the unique visitors in December were worst, and in fact declined 5% from the last published figures for September.
That reflects FAILURE and just because Zillow gave guidance that display revenues would be flat doesn't give them a free pass for when the actuals are announced. Remember Z is a supposedly growth stock with a PE ratio of 183, and as Jim Cramer stated " anything less than stellar will cause Z stock to be sold". A 5% reduction in unique visitors seem to be inline with the reduced Alexa ranking from late summer to December where Zillow fell from 87th to 110th position in US.