RealTime IT News

Blodget Shelves Dot-Com Pom-Poms

In the first public call for American colonies to declare their independence from Britain, Thomas Paine wrote of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots. The famed pamphleteer referred to men who fought in the Revolution who, when Winter arrived, scurried on home. In other words, when the proverbial cow chip hits the fan, you'll find out who's-who.

Speaking of Henry Blodget...

The Net's loudest raging bull saw it fit yesterday to wag his finger at the sorriest, most downtrodden basket of dot-com no-names, in an effort to boost his status as chief Wall Street sheepherder. His sweeping downgrade included 24/7 Media , barnesandnoble.com , BUY.COM , DoubleClick , eBay , eToys , iVillage , Pets.com , Quokka Sports , Safeguard Scientifics , and Webvan .

Poring over this venerable who's-who list, I almost couldn't help but chuckle. Did Blodget peer into his magic crystal ball or read the mysterious tea leaves to arrive at this careful analysis? Or, I suppose the fact that, all but three of his Internet stocks cited, trade woefully under $10 a pop might have been a dead giveaway. Some prognosticator.

Armchair investors growing tired of analysts looking to make a name for themselves rightfully gave Blodget's so-called bombshell a collective yawn. More than a third of his picks actually climbed higher on the downgrade news, which seems appropriate considering most have nowhere to go but up.

And what of the newbie investors who originally were led to invest in this most unfortunate group of deadbeats - perhaps on Blodget's say-so alone? Well, if you follow his advice, you know by now that you get what you pay for. And in this case, with the average performer in the bunch 80% off its 52-week high, his message is clear - buy high, sell low.

I'm certain savvy investors needn't be told that Blodget is simply window-dressing with this latest cleaning out the barn move. He has to sweep his record of eleven stinkers to make way for his next breathless stock pick. But the old credibility factor is likely to take a black eye this time around for his shameless timing.

Speaking of shameless timing...

Robby Stevens slapped its mandatory "buy" rating on divine interVentures , following the no-name incubator's quiet period close yesterday. Internet analyst Michael Graham opined, "We believe incubators represent an attractive way for public investors to gain access to the private markets, and believe Divine's influence in its target market enables excellent access to the next generation of technology companies springing up from this region."

I wonder if Graham really penned that fluff with a straight face. For the unbiased skinny on Divine, minus the rose-colored glasses, surf on over to "Greedy to the Bone."

Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel free to forward them to kblack@internet.com.

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