To quote the highlights from the press release from MSN MoneyCentral
“For the year, HouseValues reported annual revenue and net income growth of 82 percent and 101 percent respectively. For the quarter, HouseValues reported revenue of $25.2 million, an increase of 75 percent from the comparable quarter last year. Fourth quarter 2005 net income was $4.0 million, up 117 percent from the prior year. Fourth quarter 2005 earnings per diluted share were $0.15 compared to $0.08 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2004. Net income for the fourth quarter and the year included an increase of $1.2 million as a result of the favorable settlement of a state tax audit.”[photopress:hv_logo.gif,full,alignright]
Blah, blah, Growth Opportunity, blah, blah…
“A recent National Association of Realtors study showed that 77 percent of consumers used the Internet as part of the home search process in 2005. The study also found that buyers who use the Internet to search for a home are more likely to buy through a real estate agent than non-Internet users.* Real estate and mortgage professionals are projected to follow consumer behavior, dedicating more of their marketing spend online than to any other medium by 2009, according to Borrell Associates.”
Blah, blah, Mortgage Opportunity, blah, blah, blah….
“On November 3, 2005, HouseValues announced its acquisition of The Loan Page, Inc. TheLoanPage.com helps consumers find the best deal on all of their home related financing needs by providing them with up to four competitive bids from the nation’s leading lenders.”
So far so good, right? Not according to “Buy on the rumor, sell on the fact” nature of the Street…
To quote another press release from MSN MoneyCentral
“Shares of HouseValues Inc. plunged in aftermarket trading Tuesday, after the company reported a jump in fourth-quarter profit, but said its first quarter and full-year 2006 results would come in well below Wall Street expectations. Shares of the online subscription service for real estate agents and mortgage bankers dropped $3.26, or 25 percent, to $10.14 in after-hours electronic trading, after closing down 25 cents at $13.50 on the Nasdaq.”"HouseValues said it expects first quarter 2006 earnings of 3 cents to 4 cents per share, including about 3 cents per share in stock option expenses. Revenue is projected at $25.5 million to $26 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 14 cents per share, not including stock options, on revenue of $28.8 million.”
What’s your take on this? Does management think an upcoming war with Zillow is going to hurt HouseValues earnings? Is the slowing housing market at fault? Have enough people seen Ardell’s “Bottom feeder post” to cause this market cap hemorrhaging? Can TheLoanPage.com mount a credible threat to LendingTree.com? Can Batman & Robin save us?
Conspiracy theories and comments?