Pop Goes the IPO! Trulia Rises on Debut

(Reuters) – Trulia Inc shares rose more than 35 percent in the online real estate listing service’s market debut on Thursday, as investors bet on an improvement in the housing market.

The stock opened at $22.10 after pricing at $17. By midmorning, it was up 35.2 percent at $23.00 on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO raised $102 million on Wednesday.

San Francisco-based Trulia’s website and mobile application provide data on home prices.

Trulia’s offering comes after a successful flotation last year from rival Zillow Inc. Shares of Zillow have more than doubled year to date, closing Wednesday at $45.55.

But Zillow’s stock market valuation of $1.3 billion is almost three times Trulia’s roughly $490 million.
“A discounted valuation within the proposed offering range reflects Trulia’s status as ‘second-best’ to peer Zillow,” Morningstar analyst James Krapfel wrote in a recent note.

In its fiscal year 2011, Trulia’s revenue nearly doubled to $38.5 million, while its net loss widened to $6.1 million from $3.8 million in the previous year.

Trulia is one of seven IPOs that were set to hit the market this week after a monthlong lull.

Late on Wednesday, four other deals priced, including commercial real estate investing company Spirit Realty Capital Inc and financial services firm National Bank Holdings. Results were mixed, however, with three of the companies pricing lower than expected.

Trulia’s offering is being underwritten by JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets, Needham & Co and William Blair.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Maureen Bavdek)

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