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Zillow, Inc. Message Board

surbiton99 363 posts  |  Last Activity: 7 hours ago Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  • The BIG winners of the merger are the Trulia executives if the stock price remains above $48.408 for 30 consecutive days.

    On June 3, 2013 Trulia filed a Form 8K with the SEC describing the structure of a performance based stock scheme following the acquisition of Market Leader by Trulia. Restrictive Stock Units (RSU) were awarded to executives as follows:

    Peter Flint CEO 300,000
    Sean Aggarwel CFO 250,000
    Paul Levine COO 250,000
    Daniele Farnedi CTO 30,000
    Scott Darling Counsel 30,000

    The Performance-Based RSUs are subject to the attainment of a Company performance milestone as well as a continued service requirement after the milestone is achieved. The Performance-Based RSUs generally only become eligible to vest if the Company’s stock price is in excess of $48.40 for 20 trading days in a 30 consecutive trading day period during an 18-month period that begins on the first trading day on or after the first Company earnings release date to occur after the 12-month anniversary of the Closing (such 18-month period, the “Achievement Window”). For the avoidance of doubt, the performance milestone must occur during the Achievement Window to be considered achieved.

  • Reply to

    Zillow Unique Users drop 3% in August

    by surbiton99 Sep 6, 2014 11:52 AM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Sep 12, 2014 2:49 PM Flag

    Zillow obviously agree with you about the drop in MUU's being disastrous as they have increased their TV Ad spend for 2014 from $65M to $75M according to an article in MeadiaPost 's Marketing Daily published yesterday.

    Not sure if the link will be allowed here

    "Zillow is increasing its ad budget for its current campaign with the launch of the fourth TV spot in its “Find Your Way Home” campaign. The original advertising spend was estimated at $65 million. However, Zillow has increased that estimate to $75 million, according to a spokesperson. The company spent $40 million in 2013. Zillow’s decision to invest in advertising has helped the company grow market share and reach record high traffic and revenue, with nearly 89 million monthly unique users visiting in July."

  • Reply to

    Z CEO on CNBC

    by tpljmpr_50 Sep 10, 2014 1:02 PM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Sep 11, 2014 10:14 AM Flag

    When I saw Rascoffs "TwitterStorm" my first thought was this guy is looking for a job with Alibaba with his usual hype & puffery about how wonderful he is.
    Probability is the 6 large investors in both Zillow and Trulia want a CEO who can actually run a business and make a profit after the merger, and Rascoff has demonstrated that isn't him with Zillow costs out of control in a desperate attempt to grow revenues.
    Having made a fortune from bailing out of $Z at every opportunity Rascoff is looking for his next ATM machine and my guess is that he is putting himself forward as "Mr IPO expert" hoping to attract Alibaba's attention. Rascoffs problem is Jack Ma and Jonathan Lu are not stupid and are asking the same question "Does the Zillow CEO actually work?"

  • Despite spending huge sums on nationwide TV advertising Zillow Unique User numbers fell by over 2.5 million to 86.3M versus 88.8M in July. A 3% drop compares to an increase of 4% for the comparable month last year with only limited advertising. Doesn't look good for Zillow 3rd quarter revenues, which most likely will have lower than forecast growth, whilst costs are out of control in a desperate attempt to sign up Premier Agents.

  • Reply to

    Lieing on their numbers

    by b11567 Aug 25, 2014 10:57 AM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 25, 2014 3:20 PM Flag

    I have been commenting for some time about Zillow including duplicate Users in its Unique User count. But when the CEO claims a First Amendment Right as justification for publishing inaccurate Zestimates on homes then nothing surprises me regarding the accuracy of any statement he makes.

    I recently posted the following comment on seeking alpha regarding Zillows Unique Users

    "Zillows 80 million Monthly Unique Users is a myth with the 'real' number for June being 46 million according to ComScore. The reason for the difference is that Zillow counts Users accessing with multiple devices as different Users."

    Back in January this year when Zillow reported 69.9M Unique Users which was a staggering increase of 34% over the December UU number and I was surprised no Analyst didn't ask Zillow to clarify what drove this increase, or if they have changed the methodology for counting Unique Users. It seems that smooth talking Spencer Rascoff has had an easy ride with Analysts who never ask 'real' meaningful questions on what is really happening at Zillow. Too much hype and puffery

  • Reply to

    Teflon stock - defying gravity - too many negatives

    by sm081969 Aug 14, 2014 12:47 PM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 14, 2014 1:25 PM Flag

    One other big negative that you missed is how Zillow imposes nonsense inaccurate Zestimates on 106 million homes and refuses ALL requests to correct or delete when 17% of Zestimates are more than 25% incorrect. Zillow claim a First Amendment Right to publish any valuation they want. Any company that treats consumers in such a disgraceful way will never be successful long term. The only reason for publishing inaccurate Zestimates must be to generate controversy in an attempt to boost Unique User numbers and should be declared illegal because of the impact on home prices.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 12, 2014 6:36 PM Flag

    I have been commenting for some time about Zillow including duplicate Users in its Unique User count. But when the CEO claims a First Amendment Right as justification for publishing inaccurate Zestimates on homes then nothing surprises me regarding the accuracy of any statement he makes.

    I recently posted the following comment on seeking alpha regarding Zillows Unique Users

    "Zillows 80 million Monthly Unique Users is a myth with the 'real' number for June being 46 million according to ComScore. The reason for the difference is that Zillow counts Users accessing with multiple devices as different Users."

    Back in January this year when Zillow reported 69.9M Unique Users which was a staggering increase of 34% over the December UU number and I was surprised no Analyst didn't ask Zillow to clarify what drove this increase, or if they have changed the methodology for counting Unique Users. It seems that smooth talking Spencer Rascoff has had an easy ride with Analysts who never ask 'real' meaningful questions on what is really happening at Zillow. Too much hype and puffery.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 11, 2014 8:38 AM Flag

    As I don't subscribe to Barrons I haven't read the article so perhaps you could elaborate on what they say? Are they suggesting that Zillows recently reported ARPU figure of $320 per agent per month is gross revenue before discounts? OR is Zillow treating discounts as a Sales & Marketing cost rather than a reduced revenue? AND have Zillow changed there accounting policy in this regard? If they did that would explain the increase from $286 to $320.

    But this is what Spencer Rascoff said on the Earnings Call in response to a question from Ron Josey from JMP Securities

    A – Spencer Rascoff – Zillow, Inc. : Sure. Hey, Ron. So, total Premier Agent revenue in the quarter was $53 million, up 82% year-over-year; our third quarter of accelerating revenue growth for PA. We’ve always said that we manage the business to grow total Premiere Agent revenue as quickly as possible and that ARPA and sub-count are outputs. Starting about six months ago, we deliberately began to focus more on top producing agents and their teams because we believe they value Zillow impressions at a higher rate than other agents. And so, we did more than a dozen tactical things, most of which we don’t discuss with investors, but some of which we do. So, for example, things like Tech Connect, which connects Zillow leads into CRMs, which generally higher ARPA agents are more likely to use. We now connect to over 25 Tech Connect partners. That’s a big deal. There’s local Zillow summits where we get to meet in person, usually our top ARPA customers, that’s a big deal. The lenders sponsorship programs is part of it. The overall sales strategy focuses on getting more of our impressions in the hands of top agents.
    All of these things have the result of increasing in ARPA, but at the expense of bringing on 1,000 to 2,000 fewer new agents at the expense of higher ARPA. And given the revenue results, 82% year-over-year for Premier Agent, that’s a tradeoff that we’re electing to make; I think it’s the right one

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 11, 2014 8:14 AM Flag

    The BIG winners of the merger are the Trulia executives if the stock price remains above $48.408 for 30 consecutive days. The Barrons article could jeopardize that if Z and TRLA stock price falls BUT with windfalls on the scale that TRulia executives gain from the stock price boost means they aren't going to pull out. There is also the matter of the $150M 'break clause' payment to Zillow if Trulia pulls out.

    On June 3, 2013 Trulia filed a Form 8K with the SEC describing the structure of a performance based stock scheme following the acquisition of Market Leader by Trulia. Restrictive Stock Units (RSU) were awarded to executives as follows:

    Peter Flint CEO 300,000
    Sean Aggarwel CFO 250,000
    Paul Levine COO 250,000
    Daniele Farnedi CTO 30,000
    Scott Darling Counsel 30,000

    The Performance-Based RSUs are subject to the attainment of a Company performance milestone as well as a continued service requirement after the milestone is achieved. The Performance-Based RSUs generally only become eligible to vest if the Company’s stock price is in excess of $48.40 for 20 trading days in a 30 consecutive trading day period during an 18-month period that begins on the first trading day on or after the first Company earnings release date to occur after the 12-month anniversary of the Closing (such 18-month period, the “Achievement Window”). For the avoidance of doubt, the performance milestone must occur during the Achievement Window to be considered achieved

  • Here is an extract of a SEC 425 Filing by Zillow this week. Talk about back scratching and no wonder Rascoff gets a free ride with his hype and puffery statements that interviewers should be calling him out on.

    "Jim Cramer: I imagine that Trulia, a lot of these things you’ve put through, for StreetEasy New York, for preapproval, Trulia, and you don’t need all that spend, that ad spend that Trulia’s doing.

    Spencer Rascoff: Look, you told me years ago, buy street easy, and we did. Then you said buy Trulia, so what’s should we buy next?

    Jim Cramer: I’ll get to you later, but it doesn’t matter, because aren’t you cohosting the 10 and 11?

    Spencer Rascoff: you’re cheaper than an M&A investment banker, and your deal flow is better, so you let me know.

    Jim Cramer: oh, spencer, thank you. People say Jim, why aren’t you harder on him? Here’s the way we work - stock was at 20, stock’s at 140, I save it for the guys whose stock went from 140 to 20. Spencer Rascoff, thank you.
    Spencer Rascoff: Thank you."

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 9, 2014 12:40 PM Flag

    The BIG winners of the merger are the Trulia executives if the stock price remains above $48.408 for 30 consecutive days. The Barrons article could jeopardize that.

    On June 3, 2013 Trulia filed a Form 8K with the SEC describing the structure of a performance based stock scheme following the acquisition of Market Leader by Trulia. Restrictive Stock Units (RSU) were awarded to executives as follows:

    Peter Flint CEO 300,000
    Sean Aggarwel CFO 250,000
    Paul Levine COO 250,000
    Daniele Farnedi CTO 30,000
    Scott Darling Counsel 30,000

    The Performance-Based RSUs are subject to the attainment of a Company performance milestone as well as a continued service requirement after the milestone is achieved. The Performance-Based RSUs generally only become eligible to vest if the Company’s stock price is in excess of $48.40 for 20 trading days in a 30 consecutive trading day period during an 18-month period that begins on the first trading day on or after the first Company earnings release date to occur after the 12-month anniversary of the Closing (such 18-month period, the “Achievement Window”). For the avoidance of doubt, the performance milestone must occur during the Achievement Window to be considered achieved.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 5, 2014 4:57 PM Flag

    And $8.4M Share Based Compensation in the quarter up from an adjusted ZERO in same quarter last year as all the $7.1M booked related to Restricted Stock Units given to the CEO of RentJuice acquisition who 'departed' a few months later at a cost of $7.1M. Expect more of the same with Trulia executives who have already hit the jackpot on RSU's going to meet stock price performance target because of the Zillow acquisition.

  • Reply to

    Zanta comes early for Trulia executives

    by surbiton99 Aug 2, 2014 8:48 PM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Aug 2, 2014 8:53 PM Flag

    And in the case of change of control "With respect to the named executive officers, if after the date the performance milestone is achieved (or for Designated Participants after the performance milestone is not achieved), there is (i) a change in control and (ii) such named executive officer’s status as a service provider terminates on grounds that would entitle him to accelerated vesting of equity awards under the “double-trigger” change in control protection for equity awards currently in place as of May 29, 2013, then 50% of the remaining Performance-Based RSUs and/or Remainder RSUs will immediately vest and become settled within 60 days following the event gave rise to such acceleration."

  • On June 3, 2013 Trulia filed a Form 8K with the SEC describing the structure of a performance based stock scheme following the acquisition of Market Leader by Trulia. Restrictive Stock Units (RSU) were awarded to executives as follows:

    Peter Flint CEO 300,000
    Sean Aggarwel CFO 250,000
    Paul Levine COO 250,000
    Daniele Farnedi CTO 30,000
    Scott Darling Counsel 30,000

    The Performance-Based RSUs are subject to the attainment of a Company performance milestone as well as a continued service requirement after the milestone is achieved. The Performance-Based RSUs generally only become eligible to vest if the Company’s stock price is in excess of $48.40 for 20 trading days in a 30 consecutive trading day period during an 18-month period that begins on the first trading day on or after the first Company earnings release date to occur after the 12-month anniversary of the Closing (such 18-month period, the “Achievement Window”). For the avoidance of doubt, the performance milestone must occur during the Achievement Window to be considered achieved.

    With the Zillow takeover being completed early 2015 these guys have a home run on meeting the $48.40 share price target and even with the 0.44 Zillow share adjustment they are in the money. Assuming the Z stock price falls to $100 with dilution Pete Flint gets over $13 million from the scheme which was most unlikely had Zillow not come along. Good luck to the Trulia guys good fortune as I have admired the quiet business focused way they have developed their company with a major strategic acquisition of Market Leader, compared to hype and puffery from Zillow as the made bolt on acquisitions and then failed to integrate effectively. Just consider RentJuice where a few months after completion the CEO 'departed' at a cost to Zillow of over $7M in the Q2 as RSU's vested immediately.

  • You can almost write the script for Spencer Rascoffs opening comments to Analysts on the 2nd Quarter Earnings call next week. Record monthly Unique Users up 50% compared to last year; Record number of Premier Agents sign up for Zillow service; Record revenues up 50% compared to same quarter last year; BUT, no mention of increasing Sales Costs, G&A, Technology Costs, etc which lead to a bigger LOSS than expected. Analysts forecasts range from a loss of $0.07 to $0.00 with a consensus of a loss of $0.04 per share. That was before Zillow share price was hyper inflated and my prediction is that Share Based Compensation Costs will increase dramatically causing a loss of $0.05 per share. Trulia earnings were blown away by a massive increase in SBC which went straight to the bottom line. Zillow will be no different.

    Full Disclosure: All Calculations done on a bus ticket using a proprietary algorithm based on Zillows Zestimate algorithm.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 31, 2014 9:13 PM Flag

    "There would be a similar review of the $256M Goodwill to determine what value is Impaired on any aspects rationalized into the bigger Zillow"

    The reference to Trulia Goodwill relates to any Impairment charge not amortization.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 30, 2014 7:56 PM Flag

    Zillow is building a balance sheet loaded with Goodwill and other intangible assets that need to be amortized impacting future years profits. If the merger is to generate $100M annual savings then the reorganization costs and write offs on Trulia Intangible assets will be substantial as if consolidating on one platform then under GAAP there is a potential big Impairment charge relating to the $114M intangible assets on Trulias books at last reporting date. There would be a similar review of the $256M Goodwill to determine what value is Impaired on any aspects rationalized into the bigger Zillow.

    And with the ballon effect from how both companies stock price has increased dramatically Share Based Compensation costs will go thru the roof hitting profits even more.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 29, 2014 10:45 AM Flag

    Zillow must have used their Zestimate algorithm to do the deal analysis. When 17% of Zestimates are more than 25% inaccurate am I surprised that the numbers make no sense? Let's hope the FTC and DoJ investigate the damage inflicted on millions of homeowners by Zillows BS Zestimates, especially in the context of the MarketWatch article suggesting that the Trulia takeover may give some legitimacy to Zestimates. Are they that desperate for reasons to justify the takeover?

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 27, 2014 11:31 AM Flag

    So forgive my naivety but isn't this the type of thing the SEC investigates ?

  • Reply to

    The Hubris of an Ex Goldman Stock scamming rascal

    by funy1x Jul 26, 2014 6:11 AM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 26, 2014 11:03 AM Flag

    "Very soon, the SEC, then the FTC, the FBI and finally the DOJ will be getting very acquainted with you and your 6 partners.

    Your collected Duopolous ponzi will unravel much quicker than you can sing the theme song for your CNBC cautionary fraud tale episode.

    Who will sing on who first? You or James Packer?"

    So your comment certainly attracted my attention. Why James Packer? His Cavalane Holdings purchased a 9.4% stake in Zillow last September for $300M and with the stock up 50% since then he is sitting on a nice profit. Maybe he subsequently bailed out but I cannot find any record of Cavalane selling.

    Curious to read the next episode.

Z
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