How much lower can Move go?

When I started at Move in May ’06, the stock (and my options) was priced at slightly above $6.  Today, I see the stock end today at $0.89, making for a very sad looking chart and definitive proof that I know nothing about timing my employment options.  I’m also not particularly good at reading financials, but I do know enough to know that having a market cap of $136M when you have $140M in total assets (down from over $200M in total assets from last year) is not a good thing.  I’d think they’d be an obvious take-over target except my guess is that many suitors would view the contract with NAR as more of an impediment to growth than an asset.

Which begs an interesting question… How much lower would the stock have to go before NAR steps in, realizes Russell’s dream and buys back operation of from Move?  My guess is that there’s a bunch of reasons this couldn’t happen, but still… It would seem that something will have to give at some point if the stock price keeps dropping.

On a more positive note for Move, they did win their patent case today that had to do with putting listings on a map (at least that’s how I remember the case being explained to me!).

20 responses

  1. Let’s see… that’s works out to a loss of just over 70% of it’s value since August 15th when it closed at $2.99. I know the market has tanked for everyone. But that says a LOT for the lack of confidence investors have in this company. It probably doesn’ t help to remember that back in 2006 when they were called the former COO and CEO were convicted of investor fraud and sentenced to 15 years in jail. I’m assuming they are still in jail and not running the company again… right?

  2. Dustin, I’m not entirely sure but I don’t think that litigation is the major mapping patent case most have been focused on as that involves what has become known as the 989 patent.

    I’m not sure if the cases are related or not, but thought I’d mention it.

  3. Jim: There’s definitely new management since those troubles…

  4. Michael: I came in after the lawsuits had already started and did my best to stay away from them. Considering I’m not sure which patent this lawsuit refers to means I did at least somewhat of a good job not getting involved! 😉

  5. In all honesty, I’d love to see NAR look at, and show the membership, how feasible/expensive/cheap it would be to reclaim RDC.

    How much closer to zero does it have to get? And what are Move’s options to earn profit other than advertising or “upselling” to the members/Realtors?

  6. woopideedoo!
    A patent to put listings on a map
    BIG F****N DEAL!

    That patent is just as bogus as Amazons one-click patent

    I should patent a special device that closes the traps of stupid patent lawyer scum.

    It’s called Duct Tape
    but my patent will be for STFU Tape its a special type of Duct Tape that makes people STFU.

    Ok I feel better now

  7. It’ll be interesting to see when NAR steps in and takes over. Once they do, how will they make more realtor friendly.

    Move has been taking advantage of realtors for years. I’m not to sad to see them tank.

    I am sad about the timing of your stock options. THAT SUCKS!!!!

  8. It will be interesting… Mike Simonsen mentioned (in a tweet) that the stock could go all the way to zero… which is theoretically possible, but I just don’t see it. It also seems clear to me that if NAR would buy out Move, they’d have to spin off companies like, Top Producer and (especially since NAR likely has no place running the official website of the national association of new home builders.)

  9. Buy it back and take it down…have the consumer go to the local market to find homes from happy real estate professionals that provide excellent content on their websites.

  10. Jay: Are you suggesting that REALTORS are a good resource for local listings and information?

  11. Yes. Most of my clients don’t go to for anything. I have found listings on that are a year old…I am a little confused…I list a house. posts it on their website for free. Then, they turn around and ask me to pay for advertising….shouldn’t they be paying me for the opportunity to display my listing to their audience? It is quite crazy.

  12. Jay: You make a great point… I was just teasing you a bit with my question. Of course REALTORS should be the local expert and while I *could* make an argument for the opposite case, in general, I agree that the listings of all agents collectively are more valuable to than the value of to any one agent.

  13. The lower the better. Let’s get it back in our own hands.

    Hey, do you think Realogy will make it?

  14. I know you know Dustin….is there a place to post topic questions?

  15. sure… best place is to head over to the 4realz hotlist where you can post just about anything you like. I moderate new users, but only until folks get the hang of using the tool!

  16. Kevin: Don’t know enough about realogy, but the Notorious Rob recently made a great case for them being fine in the long run…

  17. […] what is an unusually long post for him, Dustin Luther laments the current state of Move’s stock: When I started at Move in May ‘06, the stock (and my options) was priced at slightly above $6.  […]

  18. The real 989 patent case has not been settled and no judgement has been made yet. The 989 patent case is much larger and more extensive than the one mentioned by the OP.

    989 not only implicates Move but also NAR, RE/MAX, Realogy, the NHBA, and a host of other large corporations and individual agents.

    A patent is a patent……..If I created something and was awarded a patent by the US government (no matter if you think it is legit or not the gov considered it legit when they awarded the patent) I would want the right to get paid if I felt my patent was stolen.

    The question isn’t whether the patent is valid rather if the companies listed infringed. Part of the defense was patent validity but the judges already threw that defense out from what I understand.

    Interesting stuff IMHO. Would I be surprised if those large corporations did so? Given their recent history of corruption, it would not surprise me at all.

  19. Maybe we can all pitch in and buy Move? Reorganize it. Perhaps you can add a Donations button to this post to raise money to buy them….

  20. Frankly, the market is killing everybody. As of today, Move has actually done better YTD than Apple & Google (in terms of percentage loss in their respective stock prices).

    Even more shocking, the company Market Leader (formerly known as HouseValues) has outperformed all of the above companies.

    Move will bounce back, especially if Trulia & Zillow don’t become profitable before their money runs out.

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