The milestone is even more impressive when you consider the emergence of agent-led OnTheMarket.com which aims to challenge the position of leading operator Rightmove and its closest rival Zoopla (ZPLA) by only letting its members advertise on one other site. It looks like agents are choosing Rightmove as that 'other site'. There are a record 19,304 agents on the portal, up 5% since December 2013, and that number is unchanged since OnTheMarket launched in January. In contrast Zoopla announced on 12 February that it had lost 11% of its members since OnTheMarket emerged.
Looking at the results themselves in more detail, revenues come in at £167 million against consensus of £163 million, operating profit totals £124.6 million compared with a forecast £121.2 million, while earnings per share and dividends per share are also ahead at 100.3p and 35p respectively.
Canaccord Genuity upgrades from 'hold' to 'buy' increasing its price target from £26.00 to £30.34 and says: 'The arrival of OnTheMarket has benefitted Rightmove, as it has weakened the potency of the second largest portal and Rightmove's biggest competitor, Zoopla.'
Investec is a bit more circumspect though it puts its sell recommendation and £20.00 price target under review, commenting: 'We rate Rightmove as operators but valuation looks high given potential house market slowdown affecting its customer base.'