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Homestore announces $2 million loss in Q1

May 3, 2006

Company launches Move.com property search site


Inman News

Homestore Inc. this week rolled out a new look for its Move.com home-search Web site, which features existing homes, new homes and properties for rent.

The company, which has re-branded and is now doing business as Move Inc., announced the launch of the newly designed Web site during a first-quarter earnings presentation Tuesday.

Move reported a net loss of $2.04 million in the first quarter compared to a net loss of $395,000 in first-quarter 2005.

The company reported that the quarterly loss is related to a new rule issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which relates to public companies' accounting of stock options. "Excluding stock-based compensation expense related to the adoption of (the rule), net income would have been $1.3 million for the first quarter of 2006," Move Inc. reported. Total operating expenses were $55.4 million in the first quarter, up from $44.3 million in first-quarter 2005.

The company reported a 1 cent loss per share for the quarter. The company's stock, traded on the Nasdaq exchange as HOMS, sank 13 cents to $5.92 by the close of the market Tuesday. Move will be changing its stock symbol from "HOMS" to "MOVE" on May 3, and the company is expected to formally change its name to Move Inc., subject to shareholder approval, at its annual meeting June 22.

Total revenue in the first quarter was $69 million, up 22 percent from first-quarter 2005. The company's EBITDA -- a measure of earnings before interest, restructuring charges and other non-cash and non-recurring items, principally stock-based charges, depreciation and amortization -- was $3.9 million in the first quarter, up from $2.4 million in first-quarter 2005.

The new Move.com property-search site integrates several existing Move Inc.-operated Web sites, including RentNet.com, HomeBuilder.com and Realtor.com. The site also features a link to a home-valuation tool that lists the value of recent home sales located near a home address entered by a user.

And the site integrates a new online version of the company's Welcome Wagon offering, which connects homeowners with local businesses, services and special offers. Other links at the Move.com entry page relate to moving services, senior housing, a Realtor locator tool, and home and garden tips.

The new Move.com site will preserve the name and identity of the Realtor.com site, which is the company's most popular destination for property searches. The HomeBuilder.com site and RentNet.com names will be dissolved, and those sites will be known as Move's new homes and Move's rental businesses said Lew Belote, Move's chief financial officer.

Mike Long, company CEO, said that the company will continue to roll out new features, such as "user-generated content supplied by local Realtors and members of the community," interactive maps, and new advertising options for real estate professionals such as pay-per-performance and auction-based pricing. The auction-based model will "let the market pick what the real value of the marketing is," Long said.

Copyright 2006 Innam News



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