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MercadoLibre stock explodes in Q3

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Financial results, Latin America, Marketplace | Comments Off

MercadoLibre’s Q3 earnings have exceeded expectations. The Latin American e-commerce and technology company posted $147.9 million in revenue, up 20.2 percent year on year, and up 89 percent in local currencies.

According to investors, the result was far higher than the $129.3 million analysts had forecast. The LatAm major company, which also operates in the classifieds industry, registered an income from operations of $47.1 million, a 26.1 percent year-over-year growth in US dollars and 145.2 percent growth in local currencies.

Mercado CEO Marcos Galperin said the company’s strategic initiatives are driving value for all involved, “judging by the success we are having at penetrating and promoting our e-commerce solutions across Latin America.”

“The greater cross-usage of services provided by our ecosystem is enhancing the experience we bring to our users, and the benefits to our business are clearly reflected in our results for the third quarter of 2014,” he said.

As a result of the higher-than-expected performance, the value of MercadoLibre stocks has exploded nearly by 19 percent. Stocks have been traded at $136.49, according to data from Bloomberg.

The company’s full results can be seen here.

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CareerBuilder debuts pre-hire software, projects $720 mil 2014 global revenue

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Articles, Financial results, Marketplace, Recruitment, Search | Comments Off

The  strong focus for recruitment giant CareerBuilder is and will continue to be the development of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) pre-hire products for employers, according to CareerBulder CEO Matt Ferguson.

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Weaker Q3 for iProperty, says spending on investments for future growth

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Financial results, Real estate, Southeast Asia | Comments Off

iProperty Group’s Q3 (July to September) cash position dipped 9.8 percent to a loss of AUD949,000 (USD838,000) from the six months ending June, 2014. The Group attributes the weaker performance to seasonality around events revenues, a change in revenue amortisation and one-off costs associated with acquisitions and investments.

In a statement, the Group says it made “vital investments into future growth” in Q3, including the acquisition of squarefoot.com.hk from REA Group and one-off costs in Indonesia and Malaysia associated with relocation of operations.

However, the Group points out that cash receipts for the first nine months of the year were up 10 percent from the same period last year to AUD16.4 million and that September brought in the second highest monthly cash flow in its history, a sum of +AUD0.4 million.

iProperty’s shares were immediately hit following the cash flow statement release, plunging 15.87 percent to 2.12 by the end of Wednesday. It climbed up to 2.38 on Thursday and finished the week at 2.42.

Read the full press release here, and the full cash flow statement here.

U.S. zombie homes down 23%: RealtyTrac

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Articles, Real estate | Comments Off

The number of  zombie homes – foreclosures left vacant – are down in the U.S. by 23 percent since this time last year, though in 60 metro areas such as New York City, Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia   they’ve actually increased. This is according to a report by distressed-property listing site and network RealtyTrac.

Here’s the announcement:

Vacant “Zombie” Foreclosures Nationwide Decrease 23 Percent from Year Ago but Increase in 16 States, 60 of 212 Metros

Zombies up More Than 20 Percent in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia;
New York City, Miami, Tampa and Chicago Post Highest Zombie Foreclosure Totals;

IRVINE, Calif. – October 30, 2014 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its Q3 2014 Zombie Foreclosure Report, which found that 117,298 homes actively in the foreclosure process had been vacated by the homeowners prior to a completed foreclosure, representing 18 percent of all active foreclosures. These vacant properties will likely end up as short sales, foreclosure auction sales or bank-owned sales in the future.

There were 117,298 owner-vacated foreclosures nationwide in third quarter of 2014 (18 percent of total properties in foreclosure), down 17 percent from 141,406 in the second quarter of 2014 and down 23 percent from 152,033 in the third quarter of 2013.

“The most effective preventative vaccine for the blight caused by vacant, abandoned foreclosures has proven to be a short and efficient foreclosure process,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Absent that, the best antidote for a zombie foreclosure infestation is a pro-active land bank program like that in Cleveland and more recently Chicago designed to aggressively take possession of vacant foreclosures and rehab or demolish them.

“Meanwhile, markets with lengthy and lengthening foreclosure timelines have unintentionally created a zombie foreclosure breeding ground,” Blomquist added. “As we see a backlog of delayed distress finally hit the foreclosure pipeline in some of those markets, the problem is coming more to light.”

States and metros bucking the trend with increases in zombie foreclosures
Contrary to the national trend, 16 states saw increases in owner-vacated foreclosures compared to a year ago, including New Jersey (up 75 percent), North Carolina (up 65 percent), Oklahoma (up 37 percent), and New York (up 30 percent) and Alabama (up 29 percent).

Among metros with a population of more than 200,000, 60 metros (28 percent) posted increases in owner-vacated foreclosures compared to a year ago, including Trenton, N.J. (up 106 percent), Atlantic City, N.J. (up 98 percent), Rochester, N.Y. (up 49 percent), Washington, D.C. (up 40 percent), New York (up 38 percent) and Philadelphia (up 21 percent).

States and metros with the most vacant foreclosures
Nationwide, Florida documented the most zombie foreclosures by far of any state, with 35,913. New York posted the second highest total (12,683), followed by New Jersey (12,133), Illinois (8,678), and Ohio (4,981).

The New York metro area saw the most owner-vacated foreclosures of any metro area nationwide, with 13,366, representing 12 percent of all properties in foreclosure, followed by Miami (9,869), Tampa (7,509), Chicago (7,326), Philadelphia (5,405) and Orlando (3,732).

States and metros with highest percentage of vacant foreclosures
33 states posted a higher percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures than the national average of 18 percent, led by Oregon (36 percent), Nevada (32 percent), Kansas (31 percent) and Maine (28 percent.

Other states with above-average vacant foreclosure rates included Michigan (26 percent), Washington (26 percent), Georgia (25 percent), Arizona (24 percent), and Indiana (24 percent).

Among metros with a population of more than 200,000, 117 metro areas had a higher percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures than the national average of 18 percent, including Las Vegas, Nev. (33 percent), Tampa (28 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (28 percent), Rochester, N.Y. (27 percent), Lakeland, Fla. (27 percent), and Baltimore (25 percent).

States and metros with the biggest decline in zombie foreclosures
Zombie foreclosures declined from a year ago in 33 states, led by Missouri, where they were down 73 percent. Other states with big decreases in zombie foreclosures compared to a year ago included Virginia (down 59 percent), California (down 56 percent), Massachusetts (down 46 percent), New Hampshire (down 45percent) Illinois (down 44 percent) and Ohio (down 41 percent).

“The scary effects of Zombie foreclosures have been minimized across much of Ohio in 2014,” said Michael Mahon, executive vice president at HER Realtors, covering the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio markets.  “Low interest rates, increased job creation and greater community education have provided resources and support to many consumers in need of help across Ohio.”

Of metros with a population over 200,000, 138 metros (60 percent) posted declines in zombie foreclosures, including Portland, Ore. (down 53 percent), Cleveland (down 52 percent), Phoenix (down 52 percent), Boston (down 52 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla., (down 51 percent).

Methodology
RealtyTrac gathers data for vacant foreclosures by matching foreclosures in the RealtyTrac database with data collected from the United States Postal Service for addresses that the agency has deemed vacant or where the owner has requested a change of address.

Report License                                                                               
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193800.462.5193 ordatasales@realtytrac.com.

About RealtyTrac
RealtyTrac is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide parcel-level records for more than 129 million U.S. parcels that include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and 20 million active and historical default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties. RealtyTrac’s housing data andforeclosure reports are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

Revenue grows slower at Schibsted

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Articles, Financial results | Comments Off

Revenue growth slowed noticably at most of Schibsted’s big online classified platforms (eg. Finn, Blocket and Leboncoin) from Q3 of FY2013 to Q3 of the current financial year, the company said today.

SMG_Small_2014_RGBOtherwise, it was pretty much “business as usual” for Schibsted in Q3 FY2014 – online’s share of total revenue grew at the expense of print, it’s share of the gross operating profit (EBITDA) grew at the expense of print and online classifieds’ share of group revenue rose. More specifically, online’s share of total revenue rose from 48 percent in Q3 2013 to 55 percent in Q3 2014; online’s share of EBITDA rose from 51 percent to 64 percent and online classifieds’ share of group revenue grew from 29 percent to 32 percent.

More statistics relevant to classifieds:

+ revenue of Schibsted’s online classifieds (all inside and outside Norway) grew 8 percent from NOK 1.1 billion ($162 million U.S.) to NOK 1.2 billion;

+ the EBITDA margin of online classifieds rose from 26 to 32 percent;

+ Finn’s revenue grew only one percent to NOK 353 million. Schibsted didn’t blame the business model switch to freemium in April for the lacklustre performance of revenue. Instead it said the switch went well and the disappointing performance of Finn’s revenue can be ascribed to the weak economy and job market;

+ the aim with the switch to freemium was “to build volume”. It worked as expected. Active sellers more than doubled quarter-to-quarter, while the number of listed ads grew 150 percent (look at chart); finn

+ in the quarter Schibsted invested NOK 112 million in SnT Classifieds, a joint venture with Telenor and in 701Search, a joint venture with Telenor and Singapore Press Holdings;

+ App-only flea market Shpock enjoyed “continued good traction in Germany and the U.K.”, according to Schibsted.

+ Revenue of online classifieds lost growth momentum across the board, for instance:

- Total classifieds revenue grew 17 percent in Q3 2013 and only 8 percent in Q3 2014;
– Finn revenue grew 10 percent in Q3 2013 and only 1 percent in Q3 2014;
– Blocket revenue grew 16 percent in Q3 2013 and only 6 percent in Q3 2014;
– Leboncoin revenue grew 32 percent in Q3 2013 and only 25 percent in Q3 2014. The monetization of Lebencoin will pick up in FY2015 and FY2016, Schibsted said.

Schibsted estimates the annual French real estate market at €500 million, of which about half is currently spent online.

For the full Q3 results go here (PDF in English). To listen to a web video of the presentation go here.

Christo Volschenk

Cars.com newspaper affiliate fees leap as much as 300 percent

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Articles, Automotive, Marketplace, Mobile, Strategy | Comments Off

With the October 1 buy-out of Cars.com by Gannett Company, newspaper affiliates retained their right to sell Cars.com advertising to auto dealers in their local markets for another five years. However, they’re now paying a considerably heftier price to do so.

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HomeAdvisor revenue up 20 percent as IAC income triples

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Articles, Financial results, Marketplace, Real estate, Services | Comments Off

IAC, parent of  HomeAdvisor, just reported in Q3 2014 the home-improvement service marketplace veteran boosted its revenue year-over-year (YOY)  by 20 percent. Paying service providers jumped 30 percent since this time last year.  That good HomeAdvisor news resulted in a 17 percent  increase in IAC’s e-commerce category.  Overall IAC revenue grew 3 percent YOY, while net income more than tripled, from just under $97 million in Q3 2013 to this quarter’s nearly $327 million.

Primarily credited with IAC income growth were HomeAdvisor, the Vimeo video platform, where subscribers jumped 30 percent to 540,000., and its Match group of dating sites. While Match revenue growth was less than expected it still increased 5 percent.

While IAC didn’t break out e-commerce results on a site-by-site basis IAC investor relations confirmed to the AIM Group that ShoeBuy.com is the only other property in the category. It, therefore, had to have suffered a YOY revenue drop.

The graphic below compares HomeAdvisor Q3 2014 (first column) with Q3 2014.  The last column is percent of change, in each case positive.

HomeAdvisor Q314 stats

Domestic service requests refers to fully completed and submitted request by U.S. customers by way of HomeAdvisor.com . Domestic accepts are the number of times service requests are accepted by service professionals. This is not the same as agreement and acceptance of a project “contract” however, as HomeAdvisor typically delivers to the requesting homeowner a list of three appropriate professionals. All three might well “accept” though only one is hired.  International refers to any activity outside of the U.S. HomeAdvisor now operates in the UK, Canada and the Netherlands.  It now has 2 million provider reviews and 30 million registered homeowners.

IAC is a highly diversified company, with 39 brands such as Match.com, Tinder and OKCupid in the dating space – a category whose U.S. revenue increased by 6 percent in the U.S. and 5 percent overall since this time last year.  On the earnings call the group’s chair Greg Blatt noted 60 percent user growth YOY but a phenomenal 600 percent jump since 2010, as well as a big boost in a more youthful audience –  with 65 percent of the audience now under 35. During that same four-year time period mobile users grew from 8 percent to 81 percent of total. Blatt also said that IAC will start to monetize its newest property, Tinder, in this coming quarter. This Tinder Premium product will include advertising revenue, a-la-carte revenue and subscription revenue.

IAC also owns UrbanSpoon restaurant review site,  The Daily Beast, About.com, social Q&A platform Ask.fm, and several others.

 IR.IAC has the earnings release.

 

 

 

Trulia to dump ListHub? Sounds that way

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Articles, Financial results, Marketplace, Mobile, Real estate, Rentals | Comments Off

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Johnston Press announces strong digital growth in Q3

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Articles, Automotive, Recruitment, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Autos and recruitment continue to lead year-on-year digital growth at Johnston Press, increasing advertising revenue by 79 percent and eleven percent, respectively, for the three months running up to Oct. 18.

In an interim statement issued this morning, Johnston said digital revenue was up 51 percent y-on-y, and overall advertising losses narrowed y-on-y from being down 4.6 percent in H1 of FY2014 to 3.4 percent in the most recent quarter.

In Q3 digital audiences were up 40 percent y-on-y, and mobile traffic nearly doubled. It means that two thirds (65 percent) of its combined 27 million print and digital audience is now digital.

The regional newspaper group also reported that it had taken 879 orders for Digital Kitbag, the service through which it sets ups digital advertising campaigns for its SME print classified advertisers. Its Sky Adsmart service, which does the same but for local satellite tv campaigns, has taken its first orders, although there was no further clarification on how many.

To bolster its recruitment sites, Johnston launched TheEducationList to join TheSmartList and TheAccountancyList. It also rolled out video screening for candidates across its recruitment portfolio.

Having refinanced in the first half of the year, the company claims the results underline promising growth.

It also confirmed its intention to hold a vote on its share capital reorganization plan on Nov. 12. This will see 50 current shares converted into a single share. The intention is to reduce the number of shares in circulation and add stability to the share price. The issue has been that with so many shares in circulation and a relatively low share price (currently around the 3p- to 4p-mark) its stock has been prone to volatile swings.

Micro-jobbing takes off in South Africa

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Africa, Recruitment, South Africa | Comments Off

Money for Jam (M4JAM) has taken off in South Africa, and according to co-founder and CEO Andre Hugo, the company has been signing up about 1,200 users a day. The platform, which launched in August 2014 (our report here), already has more than 50,000 active “jobbers”, who together have earned more than R845,000 ($78,000 U.S.), he said.jar

M4JAM is a way for South Africans to get micro-jobs. M4JAM takes big jobs from reputable companies and breaks them into smaller jobs, allowing “jobbers” to complete simple tasks using their phones in exchange for cash, while going about their daily lives.

With the service South Africans earn money using their smartphones. Money for Jam uses the WeChat platform, a Chinese-based instant messaging platform owned by Tencent Holdings.

According to M4JAM, the more jobs one successfully completes, the higher your status as a jobber becomes. Your status can vary from an Apricot to a Raspberry jobber. The higher your status, the more you can earn.

All jobs always need to be completed within their allotted time frames and a single user may grab up to five jobs at any given time, which will need to be completed before he/she is able to take on any new jobs. 

The client has 48 hours to review the quality of the data provided and then accept, reject or partially reject the job.

The types of jobs available include taking a photo, completing a survey, confirming if a restaurant still exists at a location, or finding a certain product on the shelves at your local supermarket.

Once a job is submitted and approved, the “jobber” is able to cash out. Money for Jam sends him an SMS code, which can be shown to cashiers (tellers) at local retail chains, namely Pick n Pay and Boxer supermarkets.

Andre Hugo, co-founder and CEO of M4JAM

Andre Hugo, co-founder and CEO of M4JAM

In an interview with local media, Hugo said one of the value propositions for companies was, they can have their tasks completed at significantly lower cost than when they outsource to a traditional supplier. Another was that companies continuously engage with customers in real time on this unique and positive channel.

Hugo said the WeChat format also lent itself to other functions, such as referrals and the sharing of additional rewards and discounts.