There's not much to like about real estate these days. After five years of unprecedented home price appreciation, prices are falling back to their historical trend line. How long this will take is anyone's guess. And now, with the government essentially keeping the mortgage market alive, it seems like this industry will be on life support far longer than many think.

Making A Move
Move Inc.
(Nasdaq: MOVE) operates a network of websites that support the real estate industry. Its websites include the popular that offers a suite of services to facilitate real estate transactions. The company's products also support the rental market, real estate advertising and marketing, and directory services. In essence, the company offers a broad service range to the overall industry that is not necessarily dependent on home prices increasing nor other catalysts necessary for physical homebuilders like Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) and Lennar (NYSE: LEN).

Move's shares trade at $1.92, valuing the business at approximately $300 million. Cash is $109 million against total debt of $65 million, leaving a net cash position of some $44 million or about 30 cents a share. So, from a statistical standpoint, these shares look appealing. (For related reading, check out Add Some Real Estate To Your Portfolio.)

House Cleaning
The numbers alone wouldn't be satisfactory to me in this case. Move has cleaned house with past managers and replaced them with more shareholder-oriented executives. CEO Steve Berkowitz is famous for his tenure at internet company Ask Jeeves, which was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI) in 2005. When Berkowitz joined Ask Jeeves in 2001, the stock price had tanked like all internet companies at the time and was near a buck a share. When the company was sold in 2005, the share price was near $30. Because the sale was a stock deal, the final price was supposedly around $33. Not a bad five-year return.

Bottom Line
Having someone like Berkowitz heading Move Inc. is a very big deal considering his experience with creating value in internet businesses. The company's finances are sound enough to keep the business in good shape until an economic rebound, or even better, until Berkowitz finds a way to deliver again.

For related reading, check out Pinpoint Takeovers First.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Allstate: How Being Boring Earns it Billions (ALL)

    A summary of what Allstate Insurance sells and whom it sells it to including recent mergers and acquisitions that have helped boost its bottom line.
  2. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  3. Investing Basics

    How to Deduct Your Stock Losses

    Held onto a stock for too long? Selling at a loss is never ideal, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Here's how.
  4. Economics

    Is Wall Street Living in Denial?

    Will remaining calm and staying long present significant risks to your investment health?
  5. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  6. Investing News

    How AT&T Evolved into a Mobile Phone Giant

    A third of Americans use an AT&T mobile phone. How did it evolve from a state-sponsored monopoly, though antitrust and a technological revolution?
  7. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  8. Stock Analysis

    Yelp: Can it Regain its Losses in 2016? (YELP)

    Yelp investors have had reason to be happy recently. Will the good spirits last?
  9. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  10. Stock Analysis

    GoPro's Stock: Can it Fall Much Further? (GPRO)

    As a company that primarily sells discretionary products, GoPro and its potential falls right in line with consumer trends. Is that good or bad?
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center