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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 139: When student athletes play hard, who gets paid?

Nov 12, 2019

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What’s Zillow’s IPO really worth? Hmm…

Marketplace Staff Jul 19, 2011
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KAI RYSSDAL: Make way for the next big IPO to hit the markets. The real estate website Zillow priced its initial public offering in a statement with regulators today — $16 to $18 a share. Ticker symbol when it eventually goes on sale — Z, of course.

The Marketplace Players offer their own Zillow appraisal.


OPERATOR: I-P-Oz.com. Can I help you?

ZILLOW: Hey, it’s Zillow. I got a problem. Your website says I’m only worth $360 million.

OPERATOR: Yep, that’s what our “Stocks-timate” has calculated.

ZILLOW: But I just told everyone I’m worth $500 million. You’re way off.

OPERATOR: Are we? I mean, last quarter you did lose $865,000.

ZILLOW: You have to see me in person to understand. I’ve got a lot of character and charm! My backyard has plenty of room for an addition! I even have…

OPERATOR: Yeah, sorry. Keep in mind, the recent IPO for Pandora wasn’t so hot.

ZILLOW: I don’t even do the same thing as Pandora!

OPERATOR: Are you an Internet-based company?

ZILLOW: Yeah, but…

OPERATOR: I’d say that’s “in the neighborhood.”

ZILLOW: You know, people actually use your questionable figures to try and drive down my price. Can I just tell you how ridiculous this…

OPERATOR: Oh, wait! We just made a change to our algorithm, which may affect the value of your company. Nope, that didn’t help. Now our “Stocks-timate” says you’re worth $40 million less.

ZILLOW: This is crazy. I’ve watched how you value IPOs for five years now, and you’re always off base when it comes to prices.

OPERATOR: Hmm, so you’re questioning the usefulness of our service?

ZILLOW: That’s exactly what I’m doing!

OPERATOR: OK Zillow, I’m going to put you on hold for the next five minutes so you can think about the irony.


RYSSDAL: The always fabulous Millie Jefferson and John Haas had the starring roles today.

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