By Peter Ricci
Well, so much for our Trulia IPO skepticism – the real estate website became the latest tech darling yesterday when it’s stock hit the New York Stock Exchange, rising 41 percent and closing at $24 a share.
Trulia’s performance has been so strong, in fact, that analysts are seeing its IPO as the first big tech public offering since the bungled Facebook IPO.
Trulia IPO – Its Purpose and Future
Trulia has stated that it plans on using the funds from its IPO for working capital and general corporate purposes, along with acquiring or investing in complementary businesses, products, services, technologies or other assets; and as we’ve been covering, Trulia did announce a number of new products in the run-up to its IPO and hire key personnel.
What makes the success of the Trulia IPO intriguing is the company’s bottom line. Though Trulia reported impressive stats in its filing with the SEC – 22 million monthly unique visitors and more than 360,000 real-estate professional users at the end of June – it has yet to turn a profit; indeed, Trulia recorded a $7.6 million loss for a six-month period ending June 30 on revenue of $29 million, compared to a $2.6 million loss on $16 million in revenue for the same period in 2011.
Good Sign for Housing Market?
Even with those losses, though, Trulia’s stock has soared, and its chief competitor, Zillow, had its own highly successful IPO in July 2011; since the beginning of 2012, Zillow’s shares have doubled, and its stock is now trading at around $45 a share (you can also track Trulia’s stock here).
So what could all this mean? That housing has bottomed, and the services of companies such as Trulia and Zillow are becoming increasingly valuable (Zillow just aired its first TV ad, in fact), as more and more professionals enter the real estate fray and investors regain confidence in housing. And it’s worth mentioning that tech IPOs, from Facebook, to Zynga, to Chicago-based Groupon, have not been a big draw for investors in recent months, so perhaps the success of the Trulia IPO is a sign that things are, slowly but surely, looking up for the real estate market.