So long, FindWhat.com! The market won't have you to kick around any longer. No, the troubled paid-search specialist isn't being acquired. Its cash-rich balance sheet is too potent to just call it quits and file for bankruptcy. Instead, as of last week, FindWhat.com is now trading as MIVA
MIVA? That was one of the companies FindWhat.com purchased during happier times. Back when it was a productive producer, singled out in our Stocks 2004 publication, the company was ripping the cover off the ball with growing profitability in the lucrative paid-search space. All 11 stocks recommended in that book went on to appreciate in the year following its December 2003 release. Unfortunately, FindWhat has had a terrible 2005.
The company has seen first-quarter earnings dip while both its auditor and CFO departed. It's also had to police its sponsors following allegations that some of them were installing spyware on the computers of its interested leads. No, it hasn't been a good year at all.
That's why enclosing FindWhat, eSpotting, and Comet Systems under the new MIVA wrapper may feel like little more than a flimsy disguise. It's a makeover in name only. All it will ultimately do is mildly upset the class action lawsuit legal eagles, requiring them to alter the name of their target in court.
Yes, paid search isn't paradise. Despite the top dogs' uncanny success, smaller upstarts like LookSmart
That's why MIVA wouldn't mind if the name change forces the market to consider its other appendages. The original Miva was an online enabler for small businesses looking to migrate online. By taking on that name -- capitalizing it and capitalizing on it -- the company is looking to shake the demons that have haunted it over the past few months.
After all, enabling is a pretty cool place to be these days. Heard of aQuantive
So you can't blame MIVA for going where the money is these days. And class action lawyers? You can't blame them for following suit in pursuing the ghost that MIVA is trying to shake.
Searching for more Foolishness?
- The company suffered a devastating first quarter.
- It may not be too late to order Stocks 2005.
- Read about the market-thumping performance of Stocks 2004.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still believes in the paid-search sector, and he does own shares in MIVA. 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.