February 13, 2014 / 11:47 PM / 6 years ago

Trulia profit misses estimate as marketing expenses jump

(Reuters) - Online real estate listing service provider Trulia Inc TRLA.N reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to a jump in marketing expenses and said it would start a campaign this year to target customers using mobile devices.

Trulia’s shares fell as much as 15 percent in extended trading.

“We anticipate the campaign to commence in late first quarter and to be in approximately $45 million investment over the course of the year,” Chief Financial Officer Sean Aggarwal said on a conference call with analysts.

Rival Zillow Inc Z.O. said on Wednesday it would boost spending on marketing across all media this year.

Trulia, which provides data on home prices, neighborhoods and rentals through Trulia.com and mobile applications, forecast full-year revenue of $245 million to $248 million.

Analysts on average expected $246.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Trulia said its 2014 forecast for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $18 million to $22 million took into account the marketing campaign.

The company, which spent $71.4 million on sales and marketing in 2013, did not provide a total figure for 2014.

Trulia’s net loss rose to $11.1 million, or 30 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, from $1.6 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 3 cents per share.

Revenue more than doubled to $49.7 million.

The company’s expenses almost tripled to $60.3 million in the quarter, with sales and marketing expenses more than doubling to $25.6 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 8 cents per share on revenue of $49.6 million.

Trulia’s shares closed at $36.43 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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