Care.com (CRCM - Get Report) shares jumped on Thursday after activist investor Engine Capital urged the online caregiving marketplace to explore strategic alternatives while it searches for a new CEO -- investor-speak for putting itself up for sale.
The stock jumped more than 8% on Thursday to $10.12. Year to date the stock is down almost 60%.
In a letter to Care.com's board, the New York investment firm said Care.com should explore a sale in part because it has lost the trust of users.
"A sale of the business could go a long way towards repairing these issues," according to the letter, signed by Managing Member Arnaud Ajdler and Managing Director Brad Favreau. "Under new ownership, it would be easier to establish a clean break from the past."
Care.com is "underearning, misunderstood by the market and significantly undervalued," the letter said.
The letter comes a week after Care.com's founder and CEO, Sheila Lirio Marcelo, said she planned to step down as CEO and less than two months after CFO Michael Echenberg resigned -- a move that pushed Care.com's stock price down more than 20%.
It also comes in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report suggesting Care.com's less-stringent vetting process for caregivers has hurt its user base, prompting a drop in revenue.
Care.com "is at a crossroads" and "time is of the essence for significant changes to be made, given the company's persistent underperformance," the letter concluded.
"The board has a unique window of opportunity to pursue a parallel strategic review process while working on" value-enhancing initiatives.