RealTime IT News

Word of Mouth Drives Stocks Up

Investors looking for the next big thing seem to be throwing some caution to the wind and buying into that sentiment, rather than doing due diligence.

Example: Verticalnet (NASDQ:VERT) soars 32% to $96.25 per share on a "buy" tout from Hambrecht & Quist. But I would caution that while stocks such as VERT, in particular, have a great mission statement--to address various industries with custom Web sites and info--I would like to see more cash on its cash flow statement before supporting its current valuation. Today's snapshot:

  10-Mar-99 point change % change
ISDEX 488.24 14.54 3.07%
NASDAQ 2,406.01 13.07 0.55%
DJIA 9,772.84 79.11 0.82%

  • Healtheon (NASDAQ:HLTH) gets a "buy" and "outperform" rating from various different investment banks, sending HLTH shares up 62% to $48.50 per share. I like Healtheon's commitment to "Internet-izing" the healthcare system, but the road to doing so is long and hard. The medical and insurance industries are slogging along at their own pace, not an Internet pace. Doctors and insurance companies are needed to make this a success. They cannot be disintermediated.

  • Mindspring (NASDAQ:MSPG) files $800 million shelf registration to be used for working capital, corporate and growth needs. The ISP sector has been cashing up for quite awhile as they deploy into better service and expanded offerings other than simple access.

  • 24/7 (NASDAQ:TFSM) agrees to acquire Sift, an e-mail direct marketing service firm, for $22 million stock. The battle for advertising is moving into marketing as clients and consumers want "relevancy," rather than one-size-fits-all banner ads.