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Zillow raises revenue forecast for homes business; to buy back shares worth $750 mln

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Dec 2 (Reuters) - Zillow Group Inc on Thursday raised its revenue forecast for the unit that manages the business of buying and selling homes after the online real-estate firm said it had made "significant progress" in winding down inventory.

The company, which operates popular home valuation tool Zestimates, said it now expects fourth-quarter revenue in its homes segment of $2.3 billion to $2.9 billion, compared with its prior estimate range of $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion.

Shares of the company, which also authorized a $750 million share buyback plan, were up 6% after the bell.

They have fallen over 37% since the company announced its exit from the home-flipping business "Zillow Offers" early in November, citing home price volatility.

"(We) recognize that no longer operating Zillow Offers will allow us to have a more capital-efficient balance sheet and business moving forward," Zillow Chief Executive Rich Barton said in a statement.

Under Zillow Offers, the company used to buy homes from owners, refurbish them and sell them later.

Zillow has now either sold, is under contract to sell or has agreed on sale terms for more than 50% of the homes it had expected to re-sell. (Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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