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RealTime IT News

Rumors & Rants: Amazon and Infoseek Lead Week's Gainers

Bookworms and infomaniacs jumped on Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Infoseek's (NASDAQ:SEEK) bandwagon driving up the shares in a stock market as absurd as Geraldo Rivera and Jerry Springer wrestling Howard Stern on pay per view. One minute stocks are up, the next they're down.

Adding another element to the action, caffeine-inspired thumb-twitching traders and fast-buck artists scream up stocks on message boards in pump and dump fashion on a wing and prayer (there are no atheists in bull markets). That explains part of Infoseek's rise amid rumors that Disney (NYSE:DIS) or Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) was kicking its tires and looking to perhaps acquire a part of the search and portal company.

Read our lips: Every Web firm is a potential takeover target.

Meanwhile, Amazon crept up to become a $3.6 billion firm, more than $1 billion more than retailer-lithic Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS). Adding music sales to the fluvial lineup cannot explain all of the pop. Of course shortsellers are to blame for some of AMZN's run but the upward trend gives new meaning to the word "short seller"--that's what they may have to sell to buy those shares and cover their "positions."

The numbers for ISDEX, June 9 - June 16:

Mecklermedia's   16-Jun-98 % change Point change
ISDEX ®   close from from
The Internet Stock Index     09-Jun-98 09-Jun-98
where Wall Street meets the Web        
ISDEX Geometric Avg.   133.36 -4.5% -6.27
ISDEX Price Wtd.   1,431.63 -1.0% -14.25
NASDAQ   1,753.12 -2.6% -47.64
DJIA   8,665.29 -4.3% -384.63
         
Amazon.Com   $73.63 44% $22.38
Infoseek   $33.13 22% $5.88
Intuit   $50.19 9% $4.19
Lycos   $56.75 6% $3.19
Egghead.com   $8.25 6% $0.44
Axent   $26.69 5% $1.31
Excite   $67.31 4% $2.31
Yahoo!   $121.94 3% $4.06
CMG Info   $45.63 2% $1.00
Sportsline USA   $30.13 2% $0.50
CNET   $45.50 1% $0.38
America Online   $89.00 0% $0.38
Netscape   $24.28 0% $0.09
CDnow   $17.19 -1% -$0.13
Verisign   $27.13 -1% -$0.25
CKS Group   $21.00 -1% -$0.25
CyberCash   $14.06 -1% -$0.19
Doubleclick   $36.44 -2% -$0.56
RealNetworks   $25.94 -2% -$0.44
Security Dynamics   $19.00 -3% -$0.50
@Home Network   $37.00 -3% -$1.00
CheckPoint Software   $27.75 -3% -$0.75
Mecklermedia   $20.38 -3% -$0.63
Security First Net Bank   $9.94 -4% -$0.44
CheckFree   $23.94 -4% -$1.13
Metricom   $9.25 -5% -$0.44
WavePhore   $11.63 -5% -$0.56
Mindspring   $59.75 -6% -$3.50
IDT Corp   $25.63 -6% -$1.63
Broadvision   $16.31 -6% -$1.06
Network Associates   $40.88 -7% -$3.00
Open Text   $15.63 -7% -$1.19
USWeb   $19.25 -7% -$1.50
PSINet   $10.38 -7% -$0.81
Spyglass   $10.13 -7% -$0.81
PairGain   $13.88 -8% -$1.19
Earthlink Network   $58.00 -9% -$5.50
Concentric   $23.63 -9% -$2.25
Secure Computing   $8.63 -9% -$0.88
E*TRADE   $20.91 -11% -$2.53
Versant Object Technologies   $4.56 -11% -$0.56
Open Market   $15.25 -12% -$2.00
Broadband Technologies   $4.88 -12% -$0.69
VocalTec   $10.88 -13% -$1.56
Cylink   $9.00 -15% -$1.56
Network Solutions   $37.00 -15% -$6.63
Onsale   $22.13 -16% -$4.13
N2K   $14.75 -23% -$4.38
NewsEdge   $9.00 -33% -$4.38
Cyberguard   $8.19 -34% -$4.13
TOTAL   1,431.63 -1% -17.00
SIMPLE AVERAGE   28.63 -1% -0.34

Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS), Excite (NASDAQ:XCIT), and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), the usual suspects, also posted small gains since June 9. Lycos cut $15 million in commerce sponsorship deals for Lycos Europe, its joint venture with media heavyweight (the Time Warner of Europe) Bertelsmann.

CMG Info (NASDAQ:CMGI) came back from a soft few weeks as one of its investments, GeoCities, filed to go public. CMG owns a third of the Webstead firm. We've always liked CMG for its stable of investments. The weak link, if there is one with CMG, may be a lack of quarter-to-quarter Internet-specific operating assets to drive its balance sheet. IPOs and shares are good in a bull market but what about bear market?

On the fallen from grace side, Network Solutions (NASDAQ:NSOL) was blasted by an article in Barrons that said NSOL could be a $18 stock soon. Those who know a little more about the Internet than Barrons (which is just about everybody) pushed NSOL back up June 16 to $37 per share. Yes, competition is coming. But how many are cashed up to the level of NSOL and it has the inertia factor of being the "default" .com registrar already. We think Network Solutions still must find more revenue streams here, however, to expand its margins.

Versant Object Technologies (NASDAQ:VSNT) posted weaker than expected results for first quarter. CEO quote: "We are obviously disappointed with this quarter's results which we attribute in large part to our dependence on large deals, which did not materialize in the quarter. We are working to decrease our dependence on such deals in the future, and we seek to continue to drive down operating expenses."

WWWrestling fans, but for the lack of large deals goeth every Internet firm.

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