Analysis: Quarter of a Trillion in Portal Company Market Value Destroyed in the Last 12 Months

February 2, 2022
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The stock market is a fickle and turbulent sea on which to operate a business, especially in a downturn like the one in January. Take Swedish market-leading portal company Hemnet for example...

The company's stock debuted on the NASDAQ in April and immediately shoot up 50% in value. Yesterday the company announced its first set of yearly results as a public company - by any measure the best year in the company's history - only for the share price to plummet 10%. analysis reveals the true extent to which publicly traded companies that operate online real estate portals have been hit by the market downturn.

We analysed 25 portal companies from around the world to compare their fortunes on the market - from their highs over the last 12 months to the current lows.

The headline figure is that over a quarter of a million dollars ($275 billion) of shareholder value has been destroyed from the companies' 12-month highs to the price at the time of writing (2nd of February). If we look at the total loss from those same 12-month highs to the 12-month lows, that figure is even bigger at $332 billion.

The companies that have lost the most in absolute terms are, unsurprisingly, some of the biggest. From its peak price of €110 on the 18th of February 2021 to its price at the time of writing of €74, Naspers' classifieds operating offshoot Prosus has lost $84 billion from its market cap.

Zillow may have generated the goriest headlines about burned value and angry shareholders out of all of the companies on the list, but the $38 billion wiped off its market cap in the last 12 months doesn't even put it in second place. That dubious honour goes to Latin American e-commerce and classifieds giant Mercado Libre which is closely followed by Chinese portal operator KE Holdings.

Value is all relative though, and these big brands don't top the list when it comes to the online classifieds and PropTech companies that have seen the biggest percentage of their value wiped out over the last 12 months.

It's no surprise to see three Chinese companies among the ten stocks to have lost the most relative value over the last year. Since the country's largest developer Evergrande almost defaulted on its massive debt last Autumn, the domestic market has been in turmoil. Both FangDD and have been in trouble with their respective market operators recently over sustained prices and lack of prompt reporting respectively.

Interestingly, Zillow, and its iBuying misadventure that brought its share price down in flames, seems to have dragged fellow US iBuyer operator Opendoor down with it despite Opendoor's increasingly healthy margins and recent lack of competition.

At the other end of the chart, it seems as though companies operating real estate portals with well known and understood business models in stable markets have suffered the least. Rightmove has long been the darling of British investors, while domestic rival OnTheMarket recently announced it was operating near breakeven for the first time while REA Group and Domain operate in a market with relatively little Covid.

We'll be keeping track of these companies and bringing you news and trends for free over the next 12 months... which we hope will be kinder to our industry on the stock market.


Disclaimer: This article is intended as commentary and is definitely not to be taken as financial advice. All the figures used are taken from Google Finance and appear on this article via a spreadsheet which will automatically refresh its values periodically. Presented below are all of the figures used which will also periodically refresh.

Portal Companies Stock Performance

February 2, 2022
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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