Move, Inc. (MOVE)
Q4 2008 Earnings Call
March 3, 2009 5:00 pm ET
Todd Friedman – The Blueshirt Group
Steven H. Berkowitz – Chief Executive Officer & Director
Lewis R. Belote, III – Chief Financial Officer
William Morrison – ThinkEquity
Jason Helfstein – Oppenheimer & Co.
Mitch Bartlett – Craig-Hallum Capital Group, LLC
Mark May – Needham & Co.
Previous Statements by MOVE
» Move, Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» Move, Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» Move, Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
Welcome to our fourth quarter 2008 earnings call. On the call today is Steve Berkowitz, our Chief Executive Officer and Lew Belote, our Chief Financial Officer. Today’s call is being webcast from the investor relations section of our website investor.move.com and will be available for replay shortly after we conclude. A copy of our press release issued earlier this afternoon is also available on our website.
Please be advised that some of the comments that will be made today constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act that involve potential risks and uncertainties concerning Move’s expected financial performance as well as Move’s strategic and operational plans. These potential risks and uncertainties include among other decreases or delays in advertising spending and market acceptance of new products and services.
Additional factors are discussed in the company’s annual and quarterly reports which are filed with the SEC and are available on our website. All information discussed in this call is as of March 3, 2009 and Move undertakes no duty to update this information. Results projected on the call today may differ materially from actual results and should not be considered as a guarantee of future performance.
On the call today we will also be discussing non-GAAP financial measures in talking about the company’s performance. Reconciliations of those measures to GAAP measures can be found in the table attached to our press release. I’ll now turn the call over to Steve.
Steven H. Berkowitz
I’m very pleased to speak with you today on my first call as CEO. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many of you over the past six weeks and I’m looking forward to continuing those conversations in the months ahead. I’ll spend my time on today’s call covering two topics. First, I’ll briefly recap the quarter and the year providing some perspective on our market and our business. Second, I’d like to share some thought son how I spent my first six weeks on the job. Hopefully, I can provide some insights on how the team is working to constantly focus, refine and enhance our strategy.
As you can imagine the difference between serving on a board and serving as CEO is a level of detail. The learning curve is steep but I believe that my time on the board as well as my prior experience gives me an advantage adapting to this ever changing environment. Today, I’d like to give you my perspective about the business and help you understand the process we are going through to lay the foundations for the next phase of Move’s growth.
Looking back at the quarter and the year I think it’s fair to say that 2008 was a difficult year. I don’t believe that we’ve ever experienced such a comprehensive and rapid deterioration in the global economy led by the real estate market like we saw over the last 12 months. As you know, the headwinds are continuing and no one is willing to predict when things will improve.
However, I believe that the stable revenues we’ve experienced in our largest business and the improved financial performance in the latter half of the year is directly attributable to the significant advantages and benefits of our market leadership, comprehensive industry knowledge and deep customer insights.
In my role as a board member, I participated in many of the key strategic decisions of the company and know that a result of the complete relaunch of our website, companywide expense reduction initiatives and renewed focus on overall profitability we enter 2009 better positioned strategically on a stronger financial footing. The market continues to change dynamically and the overall economy is still uncertain. We will have to react in real time to the changing market conditions but we have and will continue to preserve our strategic investments in order to extend our market leadership as the real estate market recovers.
Looking briefly at the quarter, revenue in the fourth quarter was $57.5 million, a slight decline from last quarter primarily resulting from weakness in display advertising and to a lesser extent new homes and rentals. We were pleased to see Realtor.com perform well relative to the third quarter even as the market continued to slide. During the quarter we successfully completed the expense reduction effort announced two quarters ago.
Through a series of well planned actions, we reduced our annual operating expenses by more than $20 million over the past two quarters. You can see the positive impact in the fourth quarter where despite the sequential decline in revenue, EBITDA increased to $7.3 million, a 27% jump over the third quarter. Our balance sheet is strong with $109 million in cash. Lew will provide further financial details in his remarks.