Zillow just posted another blockbuster quarter, beating analysts estimates and charging ahead of its original forecasts. The Seattle online real estate company, which was founded in 2005 by former Expedia veterans Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, posted record revenue of $58.3 million for the fourth quarter, up 70 percent over the same period in 2012. Net income, meanwhile, came in at a record $2.7 million, well ahead of the $549,000 it made in the fourth quarter of 2012.
For the year, Zillow posted a net loss of $12.5 million, based in part on the company’s heavy investing in advertising. That compared to net income of $5.9 million for 2012. Revenue for the year was $197.5 million, up 69 percent.
“This was a breakaway year for Zillow in which we repeatedly delivered record revenue, traffic, and mobile usage as we significantly grew our market share as the category leader,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a release. “We’re looking ahead to 2014 with significant investments in growing our audience, growing our Premier Agent business and turning up the volume in mortgages and our other emerging marketplaces.”
The company, which competes directly with San Francisco-based Trulia, now boasts a market value of $3.5 billion. Shares of the company are up 150 percent in the past year.
Zillow’s traffic has continued to surge. As we pointed out last week, visitors to the company’s mobile apps and Web site for the month of January came in at nearly 70 million unique visitors. Interestingly, the company now says that more than two-thirds of its traffic comes from mobile devices, with more than 400 million homes viewed on Zillow mobile in January, a rate of about 148 homes per second.
In addition to announcing earnings, Zillow said that it is making the New York-centric StreetEasy online real estate database and tools available to customers for free. The service, which Zillow acquired for $50 million last summer, previously was available to users for $10 per month.
“This is a major milestone for the New York City real estate marketplace as we continue to bring transparency to one of the most complex, hard-to-navigate real estate markets in the world,” said Susan Daimler, general manager of StreetEasy and Zillow New York.
Here’s a closer look at the company’s results: