Have dirty deeds left your company with a tarnished reputation? A quick name change might be in order. If onetime mobsters can enter witness protection and emerge with shiny new names and spotless identities, a redesigned logo and a new moniker might help give muddied companies a similarly fresh start. That's not a big deal -- unless you find yourself fooled by that benign new name, and end up invested in a company you don't like.
Scrub away that oily stain
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, observers have argued that BP
Sometimes a company will change or tweak its name for more urgent reasons, such as an ongoing scandal. I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen with BP. Anything to put some mental distance between it and the massive oil spill from its rig will likely be good for business.
As you do research, make sure you know whether a company has entered the corporate equivalent of a witness protection program. At the very least, you'll get a fuller picture of the stock and its history -- and a better sense of how it deals with disasters and challenges.
Corporate history is littered with name changes and name tweaks. Do you remember a particularly interesting or amusing one? Let us know -- leave a note below!