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Z/ZG: Is Zillow’s Lender Co-Marketing Strategy under Increased Scrutiny from the CFPB?

March 9th, 2017

Approximately 18-months ago, we published a report entitled: “Is Zillow’s ARPA Growth Miracle Over? The Demise of the “MSA” in the Mortgage Channel Suggests It Could Be, Reducing Estimates”.  In...

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Z/ZG: Investing for Growth or the Cost of Doing Business? A Closer Look at the “Funnel” Suggests Growth for this...

February 8th, 2017

In many ways the investment case for or against Zillow increasingly can be distilled to one single question: Does the company’s current cost structure reflect investments for growth or simply...

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Z/ZG: Tick, Tick, Tick…. Time Is Running Out on the Growth of the Premier Agent Advertising Program as the Top of the...

November 2nd, 2016

Zillow management did it again. The company guided down for the forward quarter and “talked down” margin expectations for the out year. This has become a tried and true practice for...

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Z/ZG: Leads Don’t Grow to the Sky and Other Troublesome Comments from Management

August 5th, 2016

Believe it or not, there was a time even after we adopted a bearish stance on Zillow’s stock that we were allowed to ask questions on the company’s earnings conference calls.  Unfortunately we asked too many difficult...

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Z/ZG: Myth vs. Reality

July 18th, 2016

Over the past month, we surveyd approximately 470 real estate agents.  The vast majority of the agents we surveyed have at least 10-years experience, generate at least 15 transaction sides annually, and work for one of the REAL Trends 500 brokerage firms.  Additionally, a significant...

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Z/ZG: What Is Adjusted EBITDA? Zillow Continues to Hide Elevated Cash Technology Spending in Plain Sight

May 13th, 2016

“EBITDA isn’t a controlled substance or a law enforcement agency. It’s the standard abbreviation for the financial-analysis term “Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and...

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Z/ZG: Where’s the Operating Leverage? And Other Questions That Need to Be Asked

May 4th, 2016

The structural flaws with Zillow’s operating model are all hiding in plain sight.  It’s May 2016, nearly 5-years after Zillow went public and the company is no closer to achieving its theoretical adjusted EBITDA margin...

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Z/ZG: It’s Strange

February 12th, 2016

Things have been quite different in Internet TAM-land for the past 3-6 months.  Seemingly overnight investors have held companies in the space to a higher standard of operating metrics, profitability and cash flow (do not confuse the relative “higher” with the absolute “high”). In a shock...

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Z/ZG: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures – The Implications of Eliminating “Featured Listings” & Other Changes...

February 5th, 2016

It’s one of the more laborious, mind-numbing, and tedious exercises we have conducted on any investment idea, but it has proven to be the most revealing. Of course, we’re talking about the task...

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CSGP/Z: The Reality in Rentals - Awash in Leads as Incremental Spending Goes Towards Self-Branding Initiatives

November 23rd, 2015

Over the past few weeks, we conducted a survey of more than 50 rental property managers across the country.  Overall the feedback from our survey suggests that CSGP management's assertions about the company's...

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Z: You Asked for It, Now You’ve Got It – The Bull Case for Zillow Relies on the Company’s Ability to Become a...

November 4th, 2015

Where were you on that fateful day, July 28, 2014 when Zillow announced its intention to acquire Trulia in a purchase that was valued at $3.5B at that time? It was a brutal time for short sellers as...

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Z: Is Zillow’s ARPA Growth Miracle Over? The Demise of the “MSA” in the Mortgage Channel Suggests It Could Be,...

October 16th, 2015

“By the minute I was getting paid like a hot line, Servin' rollin' fiends was calling, we was dot com, Well connected, well respected and well protected.”-          Meek Mill/Wale....

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Z: Forget the Agent in North Dakota Spending $20K and the Growth in Agents Spending $5K/Month, Deceleration Is the Real...

August 5th, 2015

Investors love anecdotes about companies; they represent the “broth” in the mosaic theory “soup” we create on any given investment idea. Industry statistics and company specific filings...

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Z: A Sin of Omission and Other Thoughts on the CFO’s Departure

July 9th, 2015

From our perspective, within the walls of Zillow Chad Cohen has been the fourth most important person in the company’s empire building efforts over the past decade behind Spencer Rascoff, Greg Schwartz, and Richard Barton.  This is why we think...

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Z: Game Changer? The Age of Upstream Might Finally Be Upon Us As Brokers Attempt to Reassert Control over the Flow of...

May 15th, 2015

“Beware the the “tions” of 2015, Especially Those Related to Project Upstream….”-          PAA Research, 1/29/15“There’s something brewing here that really makes me think that...

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Z: Purposeful Obfuscation of Slowing Metrics and Other Key Takeaways from Zillow’s Earnings Release and Analyst Calls

May 13th, 2015

Heading into the company’s 1Q15 earnings call we thought we might get the following from Zillow: Messy 1Q15 results - check New metrics that would be impossible to reconcile with historical...

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Z: Stretching to Achieve Growth and Shrinking the TAM – Zillow’s Inventory Issues Result in New Policies that...

April 24th, 2015

For the past year, we have been arguing that Zillow has a major advertising inventory problem.  The growth of the company’s premier agent featured listing program combined with deals Zillow has...

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Z: Is It Time to Question This Management Team? Taking our Price Objective to $50

April 15th, 2015

Well that was interesting.  This is not our first rodeo in a heavily shorted battleground stock, but for some reason each experience often reveals something new about potential trading action.  Today’s action certainly underscores a...

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