Why Realogy Holdings Corp. Shares Sank

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

May 5, 2014 at 5:30PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of real estate services specialist Realogy Holdings (NYSE:RLGY) plunged 11% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.

So what: The stock has pulled back in 2014 on concerns over slowing growth, and today's first-quarter results -- net loss of $46 million on a revenue increase of just 5% -- coupled with a downbeat outlook only reinforce those worries. In fact, management said it sees challenging near-term comparisons due to continued weakness in mortgage refinance volume, forcing traders to recalibrate their valuation estimates accordingly.  

Now what: For the current quarter, management now expects homesale transaction volume in the range of -2% to +2% over the year-ago period. "As we have moved into our spring selling season, thus far the level of open activity we expected has not materialized, particularly as it relates to homesale transaction sides," noted CFO Anthony Hull in the company's earnings press release. "Having said that, we expect our aggregate number of homesale transaction sides to increase sequentially from 260,000 in the first quarter of 2014 to between 367,600 to 375,500 in the second quarter." Of course, with Realogy shares off more than 30% from their 52-week high and trading at a forward P/E in the midteens, much of that downbeat view might already be baked into the valuation. 

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