Most headlines are focused on News Corp’s earnings missing their mark for the quarter, and while they openly confess that overall earnings are disappointing, it was quickly obvious on tonight’s earnings call that realtor.com is the company’s current darling.
News Corp CEO, Robert Thomson singled out realtor.com very early on during the call, noting that despite disappointing earnings (blamed mostly on currency fluctuations dragging them down), they are “particularly pleased with the momentum at realtor.com,” adding that they are now the world’s largest digital listings company (taking into account their dominance in Australia as well).
Thomson says realtor.com is “significantly ahead of schedule on key metrics” and that with the real estate market in America “returning to health,” they are optimistic about the future of the brand they acquired just days short of a year ago.
Move is definitely on the move
Move is the operator of realtor.com and other digital real estate brands like Top Producer, ListHub and others. The company saw a 33 percent revenue increase to $85M from $64M last year. Compare that to Zillow’s 13 percent increase reported earlier this week.
Thomson said, “Move saw continued strength in its Connection for Co-Brokerage product and non-listing Media revenues, coupled with market share gains for its Top Producer software product.”
Move’s average monthly unique visitors rose 43 percent year-over-year to 46 million, driven by a 64 percent increase in mobile traffic. Thomson notes that there was not only an increase of quantity of traffic, but that it is “high quality traffic.”
Thomson says their focus going forward is on listing accuracy and lead generation, noting that the ecosystem of News Corp, which includes news outlets like Wall Street Journal and Fox News among others, all provides leads to each other. Of note, Thomson stated on the earnings call that News Corp plans to repurpose techniques and tactics of other brands they own under their umbrella, so expect success in all segments of the brand to bleed over into one another.
News Corp to “aggressively” focus on RE
Move is expected to continue improving and end the year positively, and ramp up in fiscal year 2017. Thomson remains confident in News Corp’s digital and global expansion and is “particularly pleased [with their] digital real estate business.”
News Corp CFO, Bedi Singh notes that there was a $4M stock compensation expense this quarter at Move, but that they still expect the company to be EBIDA positive for this fiscal year.
Overall, the brand remains committed to “free cash flow” as a priority, as proven with ditching the educational portion of their business and “aggressively” adjusting focus to digital real estate.