Real estate information providers were passing ships last week. The winners and losers just happened to literally be a world apart. Stateside darlings Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) and and Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) rose 15% and 12%, respectively, on the week. Chinese players E-House (NYSE: EJ) and SouFun (NYSE: SFUN) saw their shares fall by 10% each last week. The double-digit-percentage moves in both directions paint contrasting portraits, but it's not as good or bad as you might think.
Let's start with the Chinese sinkers. E-House and SouFun fell as investors retreated out of China's growth stocks, but if anything, the only substantial news out of the companies was positive.
SouFun, a website operator emphasizing home improvement, furnishings and other real estate topics, should have moved higher after announcing a new ADS-to-share ratio that essentially equates a 5-for-1 stock split. It didn't.
There was some encouraging news out of E-House on Friday. Tencent's agreeing to shell out $180 million to E-House for a 15% stake in its previously wholly owned Leju, a provider of real estate online services that E-House is proposing to take public as a stand-alone entity. It didn't matter. The market just wasn't interested in Chinese equities.
The market's reception was far kinder to the real-estate portals toiling away closer to home.