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Looking for a “sleeper” investment? Check out ZipRealty.

A recent news release -- http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=180169&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=922003&highlight= -- announces that ZIPR is “the highest-ranked real estate brokerage in the 2006 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for the second consecutive year”.

This is a great business, irrespective of the home sales slowdown. But ZIPR is taking market share from traditional real estate brokerage businesses, has a new, industry-savvy CEO, and has yet to break out.

By the end of next week – after the Nov. 8 conference call – I expect more analyst coverage and an excellent 2007 forecast.

Short-selling of ZIPR has been a fun game for some of the poorly informed gamblers out there. There are a few less of them in the game right now – down from a whooping 21.8% of float to a still-mountainous 20.8% -- which will take 33 days to cover at the current trading volume. That's a prescription for a horrific short squeeze that will make shareholders who sell into it rich.

Buy now; avoid the rush! Share prices fell to $5.81 in mid-August 2006 and are around $8.20 today (a 40% run-up). Last year, shares hit $13.49, so it is 40% off its 52-week high. I don't think we'll see $8.00 again, but put in a limit order in case there is a run on the day you buy.

Dave

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Dave --
Respectfully, that post sounds a little like pumping. How do you know the CEO? Do you have articles or references on him? I would like to get to know him better if he is indeed as good as you say.

Har1en
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Listen to ZipRealty's Nov. 16, 2006 Conference Call: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=180169&eventID=1408539

The new CEO introduces himself after being “pumped” in the introduction by a UBS Conference leader. He also describes the industry, his involvement, ZipRealty's recent past and market conditions of residential real estate.

Check it out and tell me if I was “pumping” or sharing a discovery with my fellow Fools. But I thinking “pumping” is OK. Note on my CAPS that I've said I own the stocks I have listed. I put in a buy order for 1,500 shares at $7.48 a while back; only 1,136 went through, but I haven't cancelled the partial execution.

So, I have a dog in this hunt. If that makes me a “pumper”, that's OK. I like to put down my investment rationale as a sanity check for the future. The word is usually associated with “pump and dump” – where some shill has been hired to put together a slick brochure and pitch it to amateurs.

By the way, UBS doesn't associate with Pump and Dumpers: They're serious folks.

Tell me what you think after listening to the whole CC and read some of their stuff. At $8.00, the stock is still not overpriced by any stretch. So I can sincerely recommend that you do some investigation.

Dave

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At the risk of sounding like I'm "pumping" ZipRealty, I was continuing with my sanity check and noted that MSN Money gives ZIPR a Stockscouter rating of 9. Hard to beat that!

And the P.E. is 11.2.

Dave

P.S. If you think I "pump" ZIPR, look what I say about my other investments on CAPS. I actually put my thoughts in print for the Foolin' world to see. Not that I'm blowing the best pickers away, but CAPS shows me down some days when I've really beat the market. I wish CAPS gave everybody $100,000 in funny money and let us allocate up to 12.5% (max) to any one stock. Maybe they're rethinking the rules?
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Thanks for the link, and I'll be listening to that CC tonight. Later, and Happy Anniversary (you have balloons)!
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