Realtor.com operator Move Inc. saw profits fall by more than half during the final three months of 2012, thanks in part to acquisitions that the company said will drive double-digit revenue growth this year.
Move reported $1.6 million in net income during the fourth quarter of 2012, down 53 percent from the same time a year ago. For the year as a whole, profits were up 47 percent, to $4.7 million, on revenue of $199.2 million, a 4 percent increase from 2011.
In an earnings call Tuesday, Move Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser said revenue growth was constrained by tight listing inventories.
Glaser said that if listing inventory hadn’t shrunk in 2012 — largely as a result of increased buyer demand in a recovering housing market — Move would have generated as much as an additional $10 million in revenue for the year. The historical listing count for 2012 was 6.2 million, she said.
Move expects revenue to grow by 11 to 13 percent this year, to between $222 million and $226 million.
That growth will be driven in part by Move’s acquisition of lead generation company TigerLead Solutions LLC for $22 million in September and moving website Relocation.com for $11.5 million in October.
Move CEO Steve Berkowitz said those and other moves will help set Move up for double-digit growth in 2013.
"Leveraging our expanding assets for consumers and customers, Move has laid the foundation to accelerate growth and expand profitably in 2013 and beyond," Berkowitz said in a statement.
Glaser acknowledged that Move’s acquisitions are "influencing near-term margins."
Although fourth-quarter profits were down, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as a percentage of revenue hit 15 percent, up from 14 percent during the same period a year ago.
Glaser said that TigerLead made a significant contribution to the total number of leads that Move generated in 2012, which she said increased by 70 percent in 2012. Move said its acquisition of TigerLead "dramatically improves the conversion process for agents and agent teams."
Mobile appears to have been another bright spot for Move in 2012.
The leads its mobile platforms generated spiked by 120 percent from a year before, and page views across all mobile platforms grew by 90 percent, according to the earnings report.
During the fourth quarter, nearly 50 percent of all listings viewed across Move properties occurred on mobile.
Berkowitz said that the company intends to continue to focus on building out its mobile offerings in 2013. "We’re innovating aggressively to lead the rapid transition to mobile," he said in the earnings call.
Last year, Move made its "Co-Broke Connections" lead forms for buyer’s agents available on all mobile platforms. Based on traffic growth, Move said that it has continued to expand the number of Co-Broke Connections lead forms it can sell by opening up more ZIP codes, and increasing the number of available slots within various ZIP codes.
Move said that last year its listing syndication subsidiary, ListHub, grew the number of multiple listing services that it has agreements with from 405 to 451, and added 40 new publishers to its distribution network.
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