Zillow continues to impress Wall Street, with shares of the Seattle online real estate company igniting today as investors pushed the stock up more than four percent. That boost means Zillow – which went public at $20 per share last July — is now worth just over $1 billion. That’s more than RealNetworks and InfoSpace combined.
In heavy trading volume that was more than double the daily average, Zillow shares reached $37.99 before settling at $37.02 on the Nasdaq exchange. There was no significant news that I saw that drove the stock price, though the company has been experiencing a nice uptick in recent months as the chart above shows.
The stock took a short-term hit in February after co-founders Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink sold off portions of their holdings when the stock was trading in the low 30s. But since that point, Zillow has been on the ascension.
The run-up could give Zillow valuable currency to make additional acquisitions, following last year’s purchases of Diverse Solutions and Postlets.
As we’ve noted in the past, Zillow appears to be on a direct collision course with Kirkland-based Market Leader as both companies attempt to roll out new tools to help real estate professionals sell homes.
Historically, Zillow has driven most of its revenue through advertising relationships with real estate agents and those who want to reach its massive audience of more than 30 million monthly visitors. But that focus is starting to shift as Zillow attempts to diversify its business.
“We are in the midst of a calculated, strategic expansion evolving our agent offering from a one-sized fits all advertising program to become more of a central hub for a variety of marketing and business services,” CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a conference call with analysts during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in February.
UPDATE: Shares of Zillow were up again on Tuesday as the company renewed an advertising partnership with Yahoo, a deal that allows real estate agents to buy advertising on both sites. The stock gained more than two percent in early morning trading to $37.99, given it a market value of $1.08 billion.
Previously on GeekWire: Following strong IPO, Zillow insiders get to cash out early