Move, Inc. has been through some tough times of late, with a handful of key executives leaving Move-owned Realtor.com for their most aggressive competitor, Zillow. With the departure of former president of realtor.com and Chief Strategy Officer at Move, Inc. who was named Zillow’s new Chief Industry Development Officer, I opined that this could be an opportunity for Move, but what they do with this golden opportunity remains unseen.
Despite this being an opportunity for the company to inject a healthy dose of new blood into the Realtor-owned brand, questions remain, especially regarding the way the departures were handled (why were devices’ memory erased? why was no real notice given?).
Investors have hung in there, but Move’s stock isn’t exactly skyrocketing – is this related to they loss of top executives?
None of this is exactly groundbreaking, but according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Move Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer, Rachel Glaser cashed in 5,000 stock options today. She vested at around $6 and sold at market value of roughly $11.
One source opined that when insiders don’t keep their stocks, it is a bearish sign, because if they expected the stock to improve, they would keep it.
On the other hand, insiders are on the hook for the capital gains, so cashing in stocks does not always guarantee a company is in trouble. Our source noted that Cisco made anyone who sold stock they got in options feel horrible, but when the stock crashed, those that didn’t cash out owed taxes on the value the day they vested.
The problem here is that it matters not what Glaser’s motivation was – it is possible that investors will read it as a lack of confidence.
Move has some challenges ahead – not just in serving investors, but in reorganizing in a way that is meaningful to the industry and responds to Zillow’s aggression.