Ever since the residential realty market turned south, investors have been wondering how long it will be before the party ends for commercial real estate.

If you're using LoopNet (Nasdaq: LOOP) as a proxy -- a fair approach, since the leading commercial listings site now has 596,000 properties on its site -- it's safe to call off the party poopers for now.

The company posted healthy quarterly results last night. Revenue rose by 33% to $20.6 million. Earnings, before a $0.01-per-share hit on litigation costs, clocked in at $0.13 a share, just ahead of last year's $0.11 showing. Wall Street was looking for the company to earn just $0.12 a share on $20.2 million in revenue. (Rewind to LoopNet's fourth-quarter results.)

The growth isn't entirely organic, as LoopNet has been acquisitive in widening its lead in commercial real estate. You're also seeing the pinch of tighter pockets. Paying members inched just 4% higher to 88,226. That is a tiny fraction of the site's 2.8 million registered users, rolls that grew by a healthy 39% over the past year.

LoopNet increased its premium membership fees last year, but it's unlikely that paying-user growth would have lapped overall membership growth in this tricky environment.

Yes, it could be worse. Have you seen the companies that lean on cyberspace to move residential properties? HouseValues, ZipRealty (Nasdaq: ZIPR), and Realtor.com parent Move (Nasdaq: MOVE) closed between $2.40 and $5.00 yesterday.

Commercial real estate peer CoStar (Nasdaq: CSGP) also hasn't felt the residential pains, as it has gone on to beat analyst expectations over the last 10 quarters. It's easy to be concerned about commercial real estate heading down, or (perhaps more likely) about residential online sites trying to make the leap into commercial listings.

This doesn't mean that there is a LoopNet killer on the horizon, but it doesn't hurt to ramp up operations quickly the way that LoopNet has through growth initiatives and timely purchases.

The market tends to gravitate to a single industry lead-generator. Can you name a financial-rates publisher besides Bankrate (Nasdaq: RATE)? How about a wedding-planning hub other than The Knot (Nasdaq: KNOT)? Generating leads in the insurance industry is a crowded space, but InsWeb (Nasdaq: INSW) is starting to set itself apart.

Is LoopNet in for a world of hurt as it battles both potential entrants and the threat of waning appeal in commercial listings? I don't think so. The stock is already trading at half the price it was commanding this past summer. Bad reports are already baked into the price. The good reports -- like last night's -- have a better chance of moving the stock higher than a dud quarter has of moving it lower.

What's that about a share price's reaction to earnings expectations? It's all about location, location, location.

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