Filling out a change-of-address card for its corporate moniker, Homestore.com
Believe it or not, Move won't even be the first online company to attempt to get over a financial hiccup or two by trashing the dot-com signage and adopting a name from a smaller subsidiary that happens to be a four-letter name starting with the letter M. FindWhat.com beat Homestore to that punch when it became Miva
Homestore has always been about the moving process, anyway. Now it will simply be adopting a name that will emphasize the company's many other Internet-enabled offerings. From its Realtor.com resale and real estate-services site to its Homebuilder.com destination for new homes, the company will continue to be a hub of real-estate and home-hunter activity. Its Rentnet subsidiary will continue to showcase available monthly rentals, and its Welcome Wagon site will still bundle offers from local merchants to new arrivals.
So what's the deal? Is this really about shedding a name that may seem out of favor if the housing bubble continues to lose steam? That's what a cynic would think -- and I usually am one -- but I'll give Move a chance.
In a recent article devoted to 10 attractive stocks trading for less than $10, I recommended Homestore. Now I just have to make a mental note to change the ticker symbol from HOMS to MOVE in a few months.
That doesn't mean a new name will wipe away the company's challenges. It has used the Internet to further its presence, but it's also that very medium that poses some of its biggest hurdles. Sites like Craigslist are hotbeds of free rental and home-sale listings, and eBay
Along with the company's name change, it will be tweaking some of its sites. Free listings will be introduced on some of them, and that may be just the elixir to grow traffic that can be easily monetized these days. Ironic, isn't it? A company burying its dot-com moniker seems to be taking steps to help it grow the eyeball metric that made the dot-com revolution so bubbly.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't about to "Move" anytime soon. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.