RealTime IT News

Software, Etc. Security First Finds Footing In Code, Not Cash

When Security First Network Bank announced it would ditch the online banking biz for the banking software biz, Wall Street scratched its head. But in the past week investors kicked and scratched themselves to push up SFNB shares more than 30%.

The simple math says there may be more opportunity in licensing its financial software so banks can set up Web shops than collecting accounts. Security First's trials and tribulations in building that bank, however, led it to create the software. Software First?

Excite's (NASDAQ:XCIT) upside since January 27 came largely as pundits look for an alternative to the high-flying Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO). Similarly, Mindspring (NASDAQ:MSPG), which provides dialup access, ran on the belief that AOL is not made of Teflon forever.

Einstein's theory of relativity has Versant (NASDAQ:VSNT) in the plus side, up 26% to $8.13 per share. But VSNT traded double digits, upper $20s last year, so it's relative indeed. Will it return from whence it came or has Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) convinced everyone it's the wizard of ahs?

RealNetwork (NASDAQ:RNWK) may be in real trouble as an emerging battle with Microsoft looms. Still, in our view there's at least three businesses in Real's basket: videocast, audiocast, and software. The former two--if they created networks--could be undiscovered value under RNWK's hood. We'll see if Rob Glaser can hotwire those.

Have a look at our stat fest of movers, shakers, tremblers, and tumblers for theweek of January 27-February 3:

The Internet Stock Index Ups & Downs

ISDEX ® Ticker 03-Feb-98 % change Point change % change
Internet Stock Index symbol close from from from
©1998 Mecklermedia     27-Jan-98 27-Jan-98 31-Dec-97
           
ISDEX Geometric Average   112.83 8.2% 8.52 13.0%
ISDEX Price Wtd. Composite   902.16 8.5% 70.88 10.5%
NASDAQ   1,666.34 5.5% 87.44 6.1%
DJIA   8,160.35 4.4% 345.34 3.2%
           
Security First Net Bank SFNB $9.63 31% $2.25 33%
Excite XCIT $49.19 29% $11.09 64%
Raptor RAPT $15.19 27% $3.19 15%
Versant Object Technologies VSNT $8.13 26% $1.69 -41%
E*TRADE EGRP $24.75 24% $4.84 8%
CKS Group CKSG $17.06 22% $3.06 21%
Forefront FFGI $10.94 22% $1.94 40%
Mindspring MSPG $38.75 18% $5.94 15%
Sportsline USA SPLN $24.38 15% $3.19 127%
USWeb USWB $13.63 14% $1.69 45%
CMG Info CMGI $36.75 11% $3.63 21%
Security Dynamics SDTI $35.56 9% $3.06 -1%
America Online AOL $99.75 9% $8.44 10%
Concentric CNCX $10.81 9% $0.91 22%
Onsale ONSL $26.94 9% $2.13 50%
Amazon.Com AMZN $61.81 8% $4.81 3%
Spyglass SPYG $5.81 8% $0.44 18%
Yahoo! YHOO $64.84 8% $4.78 -6%
Netscape NSCP $18.19 8% $1.31 -25%
Earthlink Network ELNK $33.00 7% $2.13 28%
Lycos LCOS $41.00 7% $2.53 -1%
CNET CNWK $32.88 6% $1.88 11%
VocalTec VOCLF $20.00 5% $1.00 -2%
@Home Network ATHM $24.38 5% $1.06 -3%
PSINet PSIX $7.50 4% $0.31 46%
CheckPoint Software CHKPF $36.13 4% $1.38 -11%
Open Text OTEXF $12.00 1% $0.13 -10%
Open Market OMKT $10.19 -1% -$0.06 6%
Infoseek SEEK $11.94 -1% -$0.09 11%
Trusted Information Systems TISX $9.94 -2% -$0.19 -1%
Mecklermedia MECK $26.38 -3% -$0.88 6%
CyberCash CYCH $10.50 -5% -$0.50 -17%
Network Solutions NSOL $18.13 -9% -$1.69 38%
RealNetworks RNWK $15.00 -10% -$1.63 8%
N2K NTKI $21.13 -12% -$2.88 44%
TOTAL   902.16 8.5% 70.88 10.5%
SIMPLE AVERAGE   25.78 8.5% 2.03 10.5%

  • January 28: WorldCom (NASDAQ:WCOM) files $5 billion debt registration. In case anyone forgot, this is the firm in the process of acquiring MCI for more than $37 billion. Once merged it will control more than 50% of current Internet backbone traffic. But high-speed networks may be on the horizon. Cable coaxial. Will acquisitive WorldCom be overleveraged if new wires are needed?
  • January 29: AOL (NYSE:AOL) plans to sell majority equity in a new entity that rolls its AOL France and (pending) CompuServe France into a larger online service with 200,000 users. The venture combines Bertelsmann, Canal+ and Cegetel Internet services under the AOL banner.
  • January 30: Netscape (NASDAQ:NSCP) reports that a study by Media Metrix shows that Netscape's "Netcenter" was the most popular site visited by business Internet users. Says 2.6 million members signed up on free service. Media company in the making?
  • January 30: Versant Object Technologies (NASDAQ:VSNT) quarter ending December, 1997 revenue jumps to $8.6 million from $5.6 million 4Q96. Loss reaches $2 million vs. earnings of $696k 4Q96. Annual revenue is $29 million vs. $18 million with annual losses of $2.3 million or $0.26 loss per share vs. earnings in 1996 of $1.4 million or $0.18 EPS.
  • February 2: CompuServe is now part of WorldCom (NASDAQ:WCOM) and AOL (NYSE:AOL) as the $1.3 billion deal finally goes through. WorldCom spun off CompuServe's consumer accounts to AOL while it keeps the network side. Former 80% CompuServe shareholder H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) now owns 3% of WCOM.

  • 02.03: Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS), spurned from acquiring GeoCities probably due to its high asking price, acquires another Web community company, Tripod, for $58 million stock. Our analysis shows the deal values Tripod's 1.5 million "members" at $38.67 each or 58 cents per monthly page view.

  • 02.03: Mecklermedia (NASDAQ:MECK), producer of this report, posts $23.3 million revenue for its first quarter ending Dec. 31 vs. $17.4 million for the same period last year. Net income reaches $3.1 million vs. $2.1 million, or $0.36 vs. $0.25, respectively.