Realtor.com operator Move Inc. said cost-cutting measures helped the company trim its net loss to $12.2 million last year, despite a 12.4 percent decline in revenue.
Move — which posted a $34.3 million net loss in 2008 — said it expects revenue will continue to slide, from $242 million in 2008 and $212 million last year to between $186 million and $192 million this year.
In reporting results for the final three months of 2009, Move said $3.9 million in expenses incurred to settle litigation contributed to a $4.5 million loss for the quarter.
In a conference call with investors, CEO Steve Berkowitz said the company is bringing out new products that will help it take advantage of Realtor.com’s status as the most visited real estate Web site.
In 2009, Move launched several new products for real estate professionals, including Search Assist, Facebook widgets, Ask a Realtor, and Realtor blogs.
In January, the Realtor.com iPhone applications was downloaded 300,000 times in 50 days, a record in the real estate category, Berkowitz said.
Move’s largest shareholder, The D3 Family Funds, believes the company is well positioned to take advantage of a shift in advertising dollars from print to online, founder David Nierenberg told the investor Web site Seeking Alpha in an interview published in January.
Nierenberg was a vocal critic of Berkowitz’s predecessor, Mike Long, and Move’s investment of nearly $130 million in auction-rate securities that became illiquid during the financial crisis (see story).
At the time, D3 Family Funds held 6.6 percent of Move common stock. The fund has since increased its position to 28.1 million shares, or 18.1 percent of outstanding shares as of Dec. 31, making it the largest Move shareholder.
Nierenberg said Move’s new management plays "a big role in our thinking about the company."
Since coming aboard in January 2009, Berkowitz has hired former eBay executive Rob Krolik as chief financial officer, Adobe and Intuit veteran David Story as chief technology officer, and former Ticketmaster executive Scott Boecker as chief product officer. Berkowitz has also promoted Realtor.com President Errol Samuelson, adding chief revenue officer for Move to his duties.
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