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Move, Inc. (MOVE)

Q2 2009 Earnings Call

August 5, 2009 5:00 pm ET


Todd Friedman - The Blueshirt Group

Steven H. Berkowitz - Chief Executive Officer & Director

Rob Krolik - Chief Financial Officer


Analyst for Jeetil Patel – Deutsche Bank

Mitch Bartlett - Craig-Hallum Capital Group, LLC

William Morrison - ThinkEquity

Jason Helfstein - Oppenheimer & Co.

Mark May - Needham & Co.

David [Nuremburg] – No Company Listed



Welcome to the second quarter 2009 Move Incorporated earnings conference call. (Operator Instructions) At this time I would like to turn the call over to your host for today’s conference, Mr. Todd Friedman. Mr. Friedman please proceed.

Todd Friedman

Thank you. Good afternoon everybody and welcome to our second quarter 2009 earnings call. On the call today is Steve Berkowitz, our Chief Executive Officer and Rob Krolik, our Chief Financial Officer.

Today’s call is being webcast from the Investor Relations section of our website 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 others, 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 August 5, 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 Berkowitz

Thanks Todd. Thank you all for joining us. It was a busy quarter and I would say by my scorecard it was a successful quarter. On the last earnings call, at conferences and at meetings with investors this quarter I have mapped out an expansive set of priorities and initiatives that will serve as the foundation for Move’s next growth cycle.

We have been making progress against our vision to create relevancy for Move throughout the entire home ownership life cycle so I thought it best our approach for this earnings call to be to continue that conversation and talk about the second quarter in the context of where Move is executing today and where we need to go in the future.

So to start, let me quickly review the quarter. I believe we executed well against the continued weak real estate market and general weakness in the economy. Revenue continued to hold up relatively well in the current market while we made more progress on the expense side of the equation.

Revenue for the quarter was $54.6 million and adjusted EBITDA was $7.1 million or 13% of revenue. It is notable that on a year-over-year basis while revenue declined 11% EBITDA grew 24% which is a reflection of the expense cuts we put in place last year. Keep in mind as I said before I expect that over time we will reinvest some of these savings in new initiatives.

Our focus is on controlling things we can control and mitigating the impact of things we cannot. As I said in the last quarter we have a business that should do well even in a bad market and should thrive in a good market. So I am pleased to say our EBITDA results for the past three quarters shows the progress we have made on that front.

In addition to the financial results, what were some of the operational accomplishments of the past quarter? We continued to build out the executive team by hiring Rob Krolik as our new CFO; we promoted Aral Samuelson to Chief Revenue Officer and began interviewing candidates for our Chief Technology and Chief Product Officer openings.

We began the much larger process of consolidating and integrating our broader functions to achieve greater scale and efficiency. We completed a realignment of our consumer media group, we launched a number of new product enhancements, we sold Welcome Wagon and we have mapped out a long-term strategy for Move to lead our industry into the next wave of growth.

As I will discuss later on this call we began to see the results of these efforts as our sales productivity picked up in the second half of the quarter in Consumer Media and Top Producer; two areas I believe will be important to our future success. There remains some work to be done but I am satisfied with the early results.

Shifting to a discussion about the quarter, over the past six months I have commented about the assets, challenges and opportunities in front of Move. For those of you who may have missed those remarks, the abbreviated version is simply this; by any measure Move is a leader in a sizeable, yet largely untapped online real estate market. We are unmatched in our audience size and engagement. We have built a very hard to replicate sales model that has tremendous capabilities at both the local and national level. Through our relationships with the National Association of Realtors, approximately 900 multiple listing services and realtor associations and hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals we have created by far the deepest relationships throughout the real estate industry and we have the deepest databases and technology resources to build a superior real estate consumer experience.

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