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RealTime IT News

eMailbag: Mindspring, WebDex, AudioNet, Etc.,

First reader up this week:

"Bought Mindspring (NASDAQ:MSPG) at approximately $10.50 fifteen months ago and am still with it today at around $58.00. Would be interested to hear your opinion on this stock."

Reply: Customer service seems to have some value after all. That's a theme we keep reiterating with Mindspring. Some think Mindspring and rival Earthlink (NASDAQ:ELNK) may be the heirs to the second and third place in the online war, behind AOL (NYSE:AOL).

Others see Yahoo!-MCI making inroads, although that is a new venture so the results aren't in yet. Either way, our view is that the telcos are looking for friendly Internet faces. Sprint fueled a run in Earthlink, MCI in Yahoo! First dates?

WEBDEX

"Could you clarify for me how exactly the Value Per User is calculated for WEBDEX."

Reply: ISR March 19 shows WEBDEX. We compute it as the market capitalization of public firms or the estimated private market value for certain assets or private firms, divided by the reported unique users that research outfit Relevant Knowledge culls every month.

Hear This

"I just wanted to get your opinion on AudioNet. Is it a viable site? What are the chances for public offering? Assuming the most reputable underwriters take it out, how well will the stock do?"

Reply: We think Audionet has some interesting potential. We suspect, however, that many PC users don't listen as much as they read or view. So audio may not be as large an audience on a PC as a visual, especially in the work place where audio distracts. Our longer term "vision," however, sees audio as being more important as the PC becomes more of a multimedia experience. It's more a question of marketplace than underwriter.

Speed & Need

"How do you justify including the telecommunication stocks PairGain and Broadband Technologies in ISDEX?"

Reply: We think high-speed telecommunications is exactly where the Web is headed and that stocks such as these--and more in the future--will be in this space more and more. Much of the concern over the WorldCom-MCI merger relates to the Internet component of the deal.