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Zillow Tumbles as Quarterly Forecast Trails Estimates

Zillow Inc., operator of the largest real estate information website, posted a record decline after forecasting fourth-quarter revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates.

Sales this quarter will be $30 million to $31 million, up from $19.9 million a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said in a statement yesterday. That’s lower than the $32.4 million average estimate of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Zillow, which first sold shares to the public in July 2011, faces increased competition from Trulia Inc., the online real estate site that went public in September. To maintain growth and diversify its product offerings, Zillow is making acquisitions, and announced yesterday the purchase of financial software company Mortech Inc. for $12 million in cash and 150,000 shares of restricted stock.

Revenue in the third quarter jumped 67 percent to $31.9 million from $19.1 million a year earlier. The company swung to a profit, recording net income of $2.33 million after reporting a loss of $570,000 a year earlier.

Zillow plunged as low as $27.71 and was down 18 percent to $28.02 as of 10:02 a.m. in New York. It had climbed 72 percent since the initial public offering through yesterday, while shares of Web companies including Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc. have tumbled since their IPOs.

Trulia is scheduled to report third-quarter results tomorrow. The San Francisco-based company has gained 31 percent since its initial public offering on Sept. 19.

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