There's No Place Like Zillow

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Zillow (NAS: Z) didn't blow its first impression.

The fast-growing real estate website posted its first quarterly report as a public company last night, and it lived up to the hype.

Revenue soared 116% to $15.8 million. This was Zillow's fourth consecutive quarter in the black on an adjusted EBITDA, but posting an actual profit of $1.6 million is a first for the dot-com debutante.

Zillow went public at $20 last month, trading as high as $60 in its first day of trading. It has given back most of those gains as a combination of market malaise and a crummy housing sector weighs on Zillow's prospects.

It's not fair. Zillow isn't your garden-variety real estate portal. Realtor.com parent Move (NAS: MOVE) posted quarterly results earlier this month. Revenue declined slightly to $48.9 million, and Move actually reported a smaller profit than Zillow.

Even if we head out to Asia where folks are still interested in real estate, China Real Estate Information (NAS: CRIC) grew its revenue at less than half of Zillow's pace -- and its net margins actually contracted during the quarter.

Zillow doesn't need the real estate market to bounce back, apparently. Its sticky website that provides rough estimates of properties -- whether they're on the market or not -- and its clever "make me move" dream option make Zillow stand out even against the slick Trulia and the corporate Realtor.com.

The market isn't paying attention to Zillow, though last night's report should prevent the company from falling below its IPO price the way recent new offerings Pandora (NYS: P) and Chinese video-sharing website Tudou.com (NAS: TUDO) have in recent weeks. Like a good home, Zillow's got a sturdy foundation.

It proved exactly that last night.

Have you bought any recent IPOs? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

At the time this article was published Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't interested in selling his home, even if he recognizes that the once red hot South Florida market is a ghost of its former glory. He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this story. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. 

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