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Brokerage giant Anywhere’s stock price went into freefall late Wednesday, then recovered most of that lost value as markets grappled with its first-quarter financial filings.
Anywhere reported a $138 million net loss in the first three months of 2023 as revenues were down 31 percent year over year, according to the company’s quarterly financial filing released Wednesday.
These first-quarter revenue declines were roughly in line with what CEO Ryan Schneider predicted on a February call with investors. Still, the new figures sent the company’s stock price tumbling 30 percent in a mere 40 minutes following the report’s release before recovering some of that value during the subsequent earnings call, according to after-hours trading tracked by MarketWatch.
In the earnings call late Wednesday after the report’s release, Schneider said the company had cut costs substantially and remained well-positioned to capitalize on the eventual housing market recovery.
“In the first quarter, our business performed right around expectations,” Schneider told investors and analysts on the call. “We delivered $50 million of cost savings in a tough quarter when volume was down about 30 percent — both of which we signaled in advance to you. The volume decline was almost all unit-driven, with a 29 percent decline in home sale units.”
Schneider clarified on the call that the company’s losses were “meaningfully impacted” by new legal costs associated with an ongoing antitrust lawsuit that was newly certified in March as a class-action case.
Outside of these legal fees, Anywhere’s business began to see improved margins in the month of March, Schneider said.
“Legal accruals aside, we were pleased that March operating EBITDA was solidly positive,” Schneider said. “We expect that trend to continue. We are also glad to see open-volume metrics continuing to outperform closed [transactions] in the first quarter, which indicates positive future volume levels. And our numbers in April so far are continuing the trend.”
The company spent nearly half its remaining cash in the first quarter of the year, ending the period with $122 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of March. Three months earlier, it had held $214 million in cash.
Anywhere’s shareholder equity — essentially the company’s net worth — fell from $1.76 billion to $1.63 billion over the same three-month period.
In the late summer and early fall of last year, Anywhere remained profitable for longer than some of its industry competitors, even as transaction volumes continued to deteriorate and home prices had begun to fall nationwide.
But for the fourth quarter of 2022, the company reported a loss of $453 million — or nearly the amount of its total net income in the previous six quarters combined.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new stock price information and comments from the company earnings call.