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Is Domain Holdings Australia Ltd the next REA Group Limited Group?

The much touted Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) spinoff of its real estate advertising arm, Domain Holdings Australia Ltd (ASX: DHG), caused significant excitement but has so far failed to live up to expectations.

Domain shares were trading at as high as $3.69 when the company hit the boards last month.

But the Domain share price has come down to $3.39, shedding about 8 per cent in less than a month.

Although it’s early days for Domain, the decline would not come as good news for shareholders, including major investors.

On the other hand, the dip may provide new investors with an opportunity.

Like Domain, the main player in Australia’s digital real estate advertising space, REA Group Limited (ASX: REA), emerged on the ASX following a spinoff from parent company News Corp (ASX: NWS).

Shares in REA Group are trading at about $76.41 but took a while to achieve such heights, coming up from $7 around 10 years ago.

And perhaps REA’s recent results offer more hope to Domain’s shareholders.

For the three months ended 30 September REA reported a net revenue growth of 21 per cent to $190 million and EBITDA growth of 24 per cent to $107 million.

As such, amid reports of a cooling in property markets across Australia, REA’s results demonstrate there is still opportunity for growth.

REA’s commanding position was recently reaffirmed by Group CEO Tracey Fellows.

“In Australia, realestate.com.au is the clear number one place for property,” Ms Fellows said.

“We have maintained our lead with the largest and most engaged audience of property seekers, with more than twice the visits compared to the number two.”

REA, with a market cap exceeding $10 billion, is by far the bigger player when stacked against Domain’s market value of $1.95 billion.

But while REA’s market value is worth more than five times Domain’s, the bigger company’s main site is only attracting twice as many visits.

It seems “the number two” has plenty of room to grow and REA has a lot more to lose.

It is clear Domain is off to a slow start but it seems there is plenty of opportunity for the recently listed company to bounce back.

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Motley Fool contributor Steve Holland has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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