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Zillow, Inc. Message Board

surbiton99 28 posts  |  Last Activity: Sep 12, 2014 2:49 PM Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  • Reply to

    The Numbers

    by muzzy4444 Jun 25, 2014 12:39 PM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Jun 25, 2014 7:02 PM Flag

    The 80 million Unique User number is as inaccurate #$%$ Zillows nonsense Zestimates. Zillow counts the same person accessing its website on a device basis so if a user has a cellphone, a tablet, a home computer, a work computer, etc, then that would be counted as 4 Unique Users even though its the same person accessing the site using multiple devices. CommScore recently published that Zillows real user number is 45.1 million. Lots oh hype and puffery by Zillow executives to boost the share price to make themselves richer.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 3, 2014 9:34 AM Flag

    Substantial reputational damage as Zillow and CEO, alomng with Errol Samuelson, demonstrate a disregard for ethics and integrity by poaching key employees from a competitor company induced with very generous Restricted Stock options worth over $6m. Am I surprised? No, as a homeowner with a substantially inaccurate Zestimate, I was informed by CEO Spencer Rascoff in an email response 'that thanks to the First Amendment Zillow can publish any value it likes' . How arrogant is that?

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 4, 2014 5:39 PM Flag

    There has been no mention of his right to switch companies. My comment relates specifically to the ethics and integrity of how he switched. Read the Court Documents and you will understand.

  • Zillow Unique Users increase by a lousy 5.2% from 81.486M in May to 82.989M in June, despite a $65M national TV advertising campaign to increase awareness in the Zillow brand. Admittedly the TV Ad is as useless as Zillows flawed Zestimates, but the $65M is on top of a $45M TV Ad campaign in 2013. Seems that Zillow is missing the spot with potential users, or maybe its reputation for inaccuracy stops people even bothering to look at its website.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 15, 2014 9:47 AM Flag

    sm081969 you make some excellent points and I can only agree with you. Interesting that when Unique User numbers are disappointing that NO comment from Spencer Rascough.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 15, 2014 9:51 AM Flag

    Now that Zillow Unique User growth has run out of steam there is NO comment from CEO Spencer Rascoff explaining why growth has slowed substantially despite a $65M TV advertising campaign. Zillow Unique Users increase by a lousy 5.2% from 81.486M in May to 82.989M in June, after being flat from April to May.

  • Reply to

    No Terms on Retsly Deal???

    by pigroast11 Jul 16, 2014 8:04 PM
    surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 17, 2014 9:53 AM Flag

    Retsly has Angel funding of $575K and 5 employees according to the Angel Investors website. Their Twitter has a bunch of pictures at a Realogy conference lasy November so I am guessing this is a 'spoiler acquisition' by Zillow to eliminate the Retsly tools that Realogy maybe using. I can't imagine Zillow paid more than $2M or $3M, but when they have such an inflated value maybe they paid $20M. As twhite113 says it is Zimbabwean dollar values.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 19, 2014 9:07 PM Flag

    With 2nd Quarter Unique Users at 243.3M compared to 212.0M in 1st quarter Zillows growth slowed to 14.8% Year on Year compared to the same Quarter in 2013 when it grew 16.43%. The difference being that Zillow did no TV advertising in the same period last year, but spent $45M in the 3rd &4th Quarters and is spending $65M in 2014. The answer is obvious that Zillow has run out of steam and can no longer be considered a growth stock. Put that into context that incremental costs of additional revenues are greater than the revenue growth and it spells di-Zaster.

  • surbiton99 surbiton99 Jul 24, 2014 4:50 PM Flag

    Well with several investment funds owning substantial holdings in both Zillow and Trulia maybe the merger rumor is a diversionary tactic to cover big 2nd quarter losses from both companies and avoid both stocks crashing.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

Z
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