REA Group (ASX:REA) share price slumps amid CEO naming FY21 a “defining period”

The REA Group share price is sliding today despite the release of the company’s annual report.

| More on:
sad child holds paper and leans with head in hand near a computer looking downcast.

Image source: Getty Images

The REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) share price is falling today despite the company’s CEO, Owen Wilson, declaring that financial year 2021 (FY21) was a “defining period” for the company.

Wilson’s comments were released with the company’s annual report this morning.

Within the report, Wilson noted the changes the company’s realestate.com.au platform made to support Australians in lockdown, which saw it sport its highest ever customer sentiment rating. Additionally, he named the company’s FY21 results “exceptional”, despite the “extraordinary disruption” caused by COVID-19.

Right now, the REA share price is $155.33, 1.27% lower than its previous close.

Let’s take a closer look at how the company’s leaders viewed its performance over the 12-months ended 30 June 2021.

REA’s “outstanding” FY21

The REA share price is in the red this morning despite the release of the company’s latest annual report.

Within the report, REA’s CEO celebrated a strong yearly performance, as did its chair, Hamish McLennan.

McLennan commented the digital advertising company specialising in property had an “outstanding” FY21 despite “ongoing disruptions and volatility” from the pandemic.

REA’s realestate.com.au saw more than 3 times more visits than its nearest competitor in FY21. REA also launched a number of new services with its Australian offerings and extended the company’s international footprint.

REA also increased its shareholding in India’s Elara to 54.3%, while Elara’s flagship site Housing.com saw 92% more site visits than it did in the previous financial year.

Additionally, REA transferred its Malaysia and Thailand operations to PropertyGuru in exchange for an 18% interest in PropertyGuru.

Back home, REA acquired Mortgage Choice, bringing it together with the company’s Smartline broker business. McLennan stated the acquisition will accelerate REA’s financial services strategy and potentially see it become Australia’s leading mortgage broking business.

However, none of the acquisition news posed by REA in FY21 resulted in its share price increasing.

Though, its business’ growth wasn’t all the company achieved last financial year.

REA officially became carbon neutral in FY21, completing the Australian Government’s Climate Active certification process.

The company’s MSCI ESG rating also increased from ‘BBB’ to ‘A’. For those not familiar with MSCI’s ESG ratings, they measure a company’s ability to weather long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. A rating of ‘A’ puts a company at the high end of average, with ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ indicating a leading ESG company.

Further, REA ended FY21 with a gender-balanced leadership team and equal gender representation within its Australian employees.

REA share price snapshot

The REA share price has been struggling on the ASX in 2021.

It has only gained 0.7% this year so far.

However, it is 44.1% higher than it was this time last year.

Should you invest $1,000 in REA Group right now?

Before you consider REA Group, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and REA Group wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for nearly a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended REA Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Consumer Staples & Discretionary Shares