RealTime IT News

CMGI, IPO Enthusiasm Stops Internet Skid

A narrower loss than expected and a hot IPO brought Internet issues back to life on Thursday. Meanwhile, cautious comments from Merrill Lynch Internet analyst, Henry Blodget had AOL shareholders on their heels.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index gained 20.95, or 2.63 percent, to 816.13, the Nasdaq Composite vaulted 93.11 to 3715.06 and the Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 19.57 to 11244.89.

Infonet Services Corp. (IN) zoomed 4-1/8 to 25-1/8. The data services provider debuted Thursday after selling 51.3 million shares at $21.

CMGI (CMGI) soared 21-13/16 to 221-9/16. The Internet incubator late Wednesday reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of $1.08 a share, much lower than the $1.76 analysts were expecting.

Also, Dain Rauscher Wessels analyst Peggy Ledvina raised her price target from $120 to $250 and reiterated the holding company as a "buy." (Editor's Note: In the Reporter@Large Luke Fronefield spoke with @Venture's Brad Garlinghouse about the incubator's new $1 billion business-to-business fund.)

Ariba Inc. (ARBA) jumped 13-1/2 to 237-1/2. The e-commerce firm Thursday purchased privately-held Tradex Technologies. Often referred to as the B2B "enabler," Tradex provides marketplace and exchange technology that allow businesses to set up shop on the Internet and exchange goods and services with one another. Tradex makes money from licensing its software, from support services, and from transaction fees. The much talked about transaction revenue in B2B, makes up 10 percent of Tradexs' overall revenues.

In the wake of the Yahoo! (YHOO) and K-Mart (KMT) free Internet access announcement, Henry Blodget had cautious words for America Online Inc. (AOL) shareholders.

"Based on the markets reaction last summer to the fear of a free access offering by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , which contributed to a 50 percent short-term decline in AOL's stock price, we would not be surprised to see pressure on AOL's stock over the next month or two" wrote Blodget in a note to clients. Shares of AOL dropped 4-3/8 to 85-1/4. Henry is however, maintaining a "buy" rating on the stock.

FreeShop.com (FSHP) climbed 3-1/16 to 37-15/16. Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown raised its 12-month price target from $25 to $50.

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