ZipRealty trims losses, but expects continued slowdown

Despite a dip in the fourth quarter, real estate brokerage and referral network ZipRealty posted a 3 percent increase in revenue for all of 2013, to $75.6 million, trimming the company’s net loss for the year to $5.4 million from $9.7 million in 2012.

In the fourth quarter, ZipRealty’s revenue fell 4 percent year over year to $17 million from $17.7 million in 2012, and the company saw a net loss of $3.7 million compared with $2 million in fourth-quarter 2012. That net loss includes $1.7 million for a legal settlement that resolved the last class-action claim pending against the company related to its former compensation practices of employee real estate agents as well as $200,000 in related payroll taxes.

ZipRealty CEO Lanny Baker attributed the fourth-quarter declines to a slowdown in transaction activity and home price appreciation.

“Tight seller inventory and reduced buyer activity prevail in most of ZipRealty’s owned and operated brokerage markets in early 2014, and we expect that transaction volume and revenue will again be lower in the first quarter of 2014 than a year ago,” Baker said.

“However … we believe that the underlying transactional capacity of our brokerage business is growing and that our transaction volume will improve as we move through this year.”

For 2013 overall, ZipRealty posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $11,000, down from $823,000 in 2012. This is the second year in a row the company has posted positive EBITDA, if barely.

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ZipRealty expects first-quarter revenue of $12 million to $12.5 million, down from $15.4 million in revenue the first quarter of 2013, and adjusted EBITDA of negative $3.5 million to negative $3 million. By contrast, the company posted adjusted EBITDA of negative $1.2 million in the first three months of 2013. For 2014 overall, ZipRealty anticipates flat revenue compared to 2013.

The company reported a 13 percent increase in ZipRealty agents, to 1,745, and a 69 percent increase in agents belonging to its “Powered by Zip” network at year’s end. ZipRealty did not report how many agents belong to its Powered by Zip network.

Agents in the company’s owned and operated brokerage markets closed 9,731 transactions in 2013 worth $2.7 billion in sales volume.

Source: ZipRealty


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