RealTime IT News

Bulls in China Shop: Top Internet Stocks Year to Date Shine

The same herd mentality that kept investors out of Internet stocks at the beginning of the year now gives them the jitters given the market's latest pullback from April's high for many stocks in the Net sector. But Internet stocks handily beat the market year to date, leaving us wondering if the selloff isn't a chance to buy.

Check out the hot list here:

ISDEX Dec. 31 - June 2

Mecklermedia's

% change

02-Jun-98

Point change

ISDEX .

from

close

from

The Internet Stock Index

31-Dec-97

31-Dec-97

ISDEX Geometric Avg.

30.6%

130.42

30.55

ISDEX Price Wtd.

32.2%

1,317.69

321.31

NASDAQ

12.2%

1,761.79

191.44

DJIA

12.4%

8,891.24

982.99

CMG Information Services

174%

$41.50

$26.38

Network Solutions

166%

$34.94

$21.81

Concentric

154%

$22.50

$13.63

Broadvision

136%

$15.31

$8.81

Infoseek

122%

$23.81

$13.06

Earthlink Network

114%

$55.00

$29.25

Sportsline USA

112%

$22.75

$12.00

Cyberguard

111%

$11.88

$6.25

Verisign

101%

$28.13

$14.13

PSINet

98%

$10.16

$5.03

USWeb

94%

$18.19

$8.81

Spyglass

92%

$9.50

$4.56

Excite

89%

$56.63

$26.63

Doubleclick

87%

$31.75

$14.75

America Online

71%

$77.38

$32.13

Open Market

66%

$15.97

$6.34

Mindspring

58%

$53.28

$19.66

RealNetworks

56%

$21.66

$7.78

Yahoo!

51%

$104.81

$35.56

Axent

46%

$25.16

$7.91

Amazon.Com

45%

$43.69

$13.56

CKS Group

42%

$20.13

$6.00

N2K

40%

$20.50

$5.88

Broadband Technologies

36%

$5.63

$1.50

@Home Network

35%

$34.00

$8.88

Security First Net Bank

34%

$9.75

$2.50

Onsale

33%

$24.00

$6.00

Lycos

31%

$54.34

$12.97

WavePhore

31%

$12.25

$2.88

Open Text

30%

$17.38

$4.00

IDT Corp

25%

$25.38

$5.13

CyberCash

20%

$15.19

$2.50

CNET

15%

$34.00

$4.50

Egghead.com

14%

$7.44

$0.94

Intuit

13%

$46.81

$5.56

CDnow

8%

$17.25

$1.25

Cylink

3%

$10.06

$0.31

Metricom

1%

$9.75

$0.13

Netscape

-8%

$22.38

-$2.00

E*TRADE

-11%

$20.50

-$2.50

Secure Computing

-15%

$10.00

-$1.81

CheckFree

-17%

$22.53

-$4.47

NewsEdge

-18%

$11.00

-$2.38

Mecklermedia

-19%

$20.19

-$4.69

Network Associates

-23%

$40.63

-$12.25

VocalTec

-24%

$15.50

-$5.00

CheckPoint Software

-30%

$28.38

-$12.38

PairGain

-32%

$13.13

-$6.25

Security Dynamics

-43%

$20.53

-$15.22

Versant Object Technologies

-63%

$5.13

-$8.69

TOTAL

32%

1,317.69

321.31

SIMPLE AVERAGE

32%

26.35

6.43

Against the backdrop of the broad market, ISDEX, The Internet Stock Index, bested the Dow and NASDAQ in gains year to date, up 30% while the other two only mustered 12%.

Not only that, the top nine stocks in our group listed here are up more than 100% since we rang in the new year, led by CMG Information Services (NASDAQ:CMGI), a public venture capital/Internet marketing firm with positions in Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS) and GeoCities among its 20 Internet investments.

Network Solutions (NASDAQ:NSOL), registrar of .com domains, has proven naysayers wrong so far despite impending competition in the registration game. We said inertia and branding may be in Network Solutions' favor, and this appears to be the case.

Some of the top runners had room to go, particularly Infoseek (NASDAQ:SEEK), which ever since its IPO seemed to be struggling for recognition on Wall Street in a crowded search space. But like the runt of the litter that suddenly spurts and starts touching the rim in basketball games, Infoseek shot up to north of $40 in April before gravity kicked in, sending it to $23.81 June 2, still up an impressive 122% YTD.

Concentric (NASDAQ:CNCX) and Earthlink (NASDAQ:ELNK) proved Internet service providers weren't dead as investment vehicles; Concentric riding the corporate sellthrough and Earthlink hitching on Sprint's bandwagon as the telco bought a chunk of the consumer-focused ISP.

On the doldrums list, the many security software firm stocks were among those that lost value since December. Brand names. Market leaders. Names like CheckPoint Software (NASDAQ:CHKPF), which controls 45% of the entire firewall market, the applications that keep hackers from rummaging through corporate networks. Or Security Dynamics (NASDAQ:SDTI), an outfit synonymous with the sector, a pioneer.

Content and others in the group--with real earnings and market positions difficult or impossible to create from scratch--also trade on the fallen side. We believe it's more a case of investors not doing their homework than fundamentals with this handful of players. You can lead a horse to water.