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Law Of Averages: Winners & Losers In Web Stocks 1997

If you had invested $532.83 for one share of each of the stocks in ISDEX at December 31, 1996 closing price (or IPO price if not trading then) that same basket of shares would be worth $792.28 on December 31, 1997.

On average you would have paid $15.22 per share for the lot worth an average $22.64 at year's end. That's a 49% simple weighted average gain, far better than the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P.

Said another way, even though half the stocks shown posted losses, the winners won enough to more than offset this. In fact, the top 10 stocks were up triple digit, carrying the fallen from grace at the bottom of our year-end analysis tally.

Sure, the geometric average of ISDEX showed only a slight upside for the year. A geometric average weights each stock equally in order to level the playing field of small and larger caps. In doing so it serves as a barometer of the big picture, the overall sense of where Wall Street meets the Web, and not a portfolio manager method of accounting for ups and downs, the dollars gained and lost on the roller coaster Internet investment vehicle.

Here's the percent and dollar-value changes locked in from December 31, 1996 to December 31, 1997:

Following The Money: ISDEX 1997

ISDEX ® Ticker 31-Dec-97 % change Point 31-Dec-96
Internet Stock Index symbol   from change  
    close 31-Dec-96 31-Dec-96 to or IPO *
      or IPO * 31-Dec-97  
ISDEX Average   99.87 0.4% 0.37 99.50
NASDAQ   1,570.35 21.6% 279.32 1,291.03
DJIA   7,908.25 22.6% 1,459.98 6,448.27
S&P 500   970.43 31.0% 229.69 740.74
           
(sorted by most % gained)          
Yahoo! YHOO $69.25 511% $57.92 $11.33
Mindspring MSPG $33.63 449% $27.50 $6.13
Lycos LCOS $41.38 294% $30.88 $10.50
VocalTec VOCLF $20.50 249% $14.63 $5.88
Amazon.Com * AMZN $60.25 235% $42.25 $18.00
Onsale * ONSL $18.00 200% $12.00 $6.00
Excite XCIT $30.00 193% $19.75 $10.25
America Online AOL $90.50 172% $57.25 $33.25
@Home Network * ATHM $25.13 139% $14.63 $10.50
E*TRADE EGRP $23.00 100% $11.50 $11.50
Earthlink Network * ELNK $25.75 98% $12.75 $13.00
Open Text OTEXF $13.38 95% $6.50 $6.88
CheckPoint Software CHKPF $40.75 87% $19.00 $21.75
Netcom NETC $24.00 85% $11.00 $13.00
CMG Info CMGI $30.25 81% $13.50 $16.75
Forefront FFGI $7.81 42% $2.31 $5.50
Infoseek SEEK $10.75 39% $3.00 $7.75
Mecklermedia MECK $24.88 26% $5.13 $19.75
Security Dynamics SDTI $35.75 13% $4.25 $31.50
CNET CNWK $29.50 2% $0.50 $29.00
Trusted Information Systems TISX $10.00 -7% -$0.75 $10.75
Versant Object Technologies VSNT $13.81 -26% -$4.81 $18.63
Network Solutions * NSOL $13.13 -27% -$4.88 $18.00
Open Market OMKT $9.63 -29% -$3.88 $13.50
Individual INDV $4.25 -29% -$1.75 $6.00
Security First Net Bank SFNB $7.25 -29% -$3.00 $10.25
Raptor RAPT $13.25 -34% -$6.88 $20.13
CyberCash CYCH $12.69 -45% -$10.31 $23.00
CKS Group CKSG $14.13 -49% -$13.75 $27.88
PSINet PSIX $5.13 -53% -$5.75 $10.88
NetManage NETM $2.81 -53% -$3.19 $6.00
Netscape NSCP $24.38 -57% -$32.50 $56.88
Spyglass SPYG $4.94 -61% -$7.56 $12.50
Quarterdeck QDEK $1.63 -61% -$2.50 $4.13
Connect CNKT $0.84 -86% -$5.28 $6.13
TOTAL   792.28 49% 259.45 532.83
SIMPLE AVERAGE   22.64     15.22