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Zillow IPO bodes well for real estate

Investors bid up shares to nearly twice offering price

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Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff (center, above "Z"), joined by other company executives, rang the opening bell for the Nasdaq today to celebrate the company's initial public offering. Five years after shaking up the real estate industry by making public property records and automated home valuations available to consumers online, Zillow Inc. today became a publicly traded company valued at nearly $1 billion.Zillow said it raised $75.7 million in the IPO and private placement of 3.7 million shares priced at $20 each. Investors promptly bid the shares up to more than double that price after trading commenced this morning on the Nasdaq.By early afternoon, Zillow's share price had settled down into the $35 range -- which would put the company's market capitalization at about $962 million, if underwriters exercise an over-allotment option to bring shares outstanding to a total of 27.5 million in coming weeks.That's an indication of the promise investors see in the company's future, gi...