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CoStar Shares Soar 12% After Earnings Report Details Company's Growth

CoStar Group HQ
CoStar Group's HQ at 1331 L St. NW in Washington, D.C.

CoStar Group's market value rose to over $16.5B Wednesday after the commercial real estate data giant reported that its 2018 earnings surpassed expectations.

The D.C.-based company brought in $1.2B in revenue last year, a 24% increase over 2017 and the first year CoStar has surpassed the billion-dollar mark. Its earnings per share of $2.81 beat estimates by 28 cents. CoStar projected its revenue would grow at least 15% this year to around $1.4B. It also set a goal of expanding its annual revenue to $3B by 2023. 

Investors responded positively to the earnings numbers and growth projections Wednesday, with CoStar's shares rising 11.7% on the day. The boost in valuation brought the firm's market cap from $14.8B to $16.5B, according to Yahoo Finance

"CoStar Group holds a leadership position in the exciting transformation of a multi-trillion-dollar real estate industry moving from offline to online," CoStar CEO Andy Florance said on a call with investors Tuesday evening. "We have positioned the company well for the enormous long-term opportunity that lies ahead of us by building an exceptionally strong balance sheet." 

CoStar's growth has been aided by the integration of its database with its public LoopNet listing service, which it completed in late 2017 after acquiring LoopNet in 2012. New bookings on the LoopNet platform last year rose 74% over 2017, Florance said. The company expects to make additional acquisitions in the coming years, and Florance said those efforts could be accelerated if the economy goes into recession. 

"In economic cycles, we've historically maintained our revenue and used it as an opportunity to accelerate our acquisition of companies," Florance told Bisnow earlier this month. "We tend to buy more companies in downturns because they are less expensive. So in a way, we never look forward to a downturn, but we will take advantage of a downturn." 

Related Topics: Andy Florance, CoStar Group, Loopnet