The Real Deal New York

CoStar nearly doubles income in Q2

RE data firm attributes sharp increase to conversion of LoopNet users
By Christian Bautista | July 24, 2018 06:43PM

Andrew Florance and 1331 L Street, NW in Washington, DC

UPDATED, July 25, 7:05 a.m.: CoStar Group saw net income nearly double year-over-year, earning $44 million in the second quarter. That’s up from just over $22 million a year ago, the company said Tuesday in an earnings report.

The Washington D.C.-based real estate data firm has seen year-over-year increases since the third quarter of 2014.

The profit hike coincided with rising revenue. During the quarter, the data giant’s gross revenue grew by 25 percent to $297 million. That figure was buoyed by CoStar’s totals from last June, when its revenue reached the $100-million mark for the first time in company history.

CoStar attributed its performance to its conversion of LoopNet users into paying customers. CoStar acquired LoopNet — which contained crowdsourced information on retail and office spaces — in an $860 million deal in 2011. In its latest annual 10-K report, CoStar said it was in the process of converting LoopNet into “a pure marketing site for commercial real estate where all listings are paid and users can search the site for free.” It also said it would continue “to focus on converting LoopNet information users to CoStar as we phase out the LoopNet information service offerings.”

As for its second quarter results, the firm also pointed to its residential services, particularly ForRent.com, which it acquired last year for $385 million.

“Since the acquisition, we have successfully signed up over 4,100 ForRent properties to our combined network and expect to complete the process of moving ForRent properties to the combined network later this year,” CoStar CEO Andy Florance said in a press release. The company is “integrating” ForRent into its more well-known residential listing brand Apartments.com network.

CoStar’s financial standing expands its war chest for what could be more company acquisitions, as well as its many legal battles. In an earnings call in April, the company said that it is prepared to initial legal action against thousands of people who it claims improperly use its data. The company also previously said it was ready to spend $20 million in its lawsuit against rival Xceligent, which shut down in December.

Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify the details of any changes to LoopNet and ForRent.com. It has also been updated to reflect that during an April earnings call, CoStar said it was willing to go after individuals, not customers, improperly using its data.