E-Mailbag Monday: eFax.com, JFAX.com, FTD.com and Ticker Confusion

Hi Tom: What are you thoughts on EFAX.com? It seems to me that they may be
on the way down since AOL has signed a agreement to work with JFAX.com.

Thanks — Joel Staniec

Reply: Wouldn’t it be great to have a universal phone number? It
certainly would make life much easier. There are several Net companies
trying to make this happen, but so far, it has been an uphill battle.

The technology is known as unified messaging, which centralizes all
communications, whether phone, fax, cell, email or whatever.

As for JFAX.com (JFAX)
eFax.com (EFAX)
, here are how the two compare on a valuation basis:


Stock Price

Ann. Revenues

Market Cap


(in millions)

(in millions)


 $    7.13

 $          &
nbsp;  29.00

 $       91.60


 $    4.75

 $    &n
bsp;         4.00


No doubt, unified messaging will eventually be a reality, but it will be
led not by small Net companies, but huge companies. For example, GTE plans
to roll-out its own unified messaging service. Also, Microsoft has said it
will, too. There is also a well-funded Net company, called Onebox.com, that
says it will give away its services.

I do think the AOL deal will ad some support for JFAX. But, I think
JFAX.com, as well as eFax.com, will continue to have difficulties as the
competition heats up.

Wilting Net Flower E-Shops

FTD.com is expected to go public this week. What do you think about how it
will do?

Reply: By all indications, things do not look good for the IPO. In
fact, because of investor sentiment, the IPO had to be delayed. Perhaps
much of this had to do with the fact that
1-800-FLOWERS.com (FLWS)
had an IPO that broke its offering price; that is, it fell on its
first day of trading, going from $21 to $18-3/16.

Actually, I would rather focus on 1-800-FLOWERS.com as an investment.

I wrote an article on 1-800-FLOWERS (
Stop and Sell These Roses — 8/19/99). At that time,
the price was at $19-1/2; of course, now it’s at $14-5/8.

I still think, though, that 1-800-FLOWERS.com is a bargain and should
benefit — as will many other e-tailers — from the surge in eChristmas

The company is growing quickly. In its latest quarter, sales increased 37 percent
sequentially to $92.2 million. Of these revenues, $57.7 million came from
online transactions.

For the next two years, the company expects to show losses (the company has
been profitable for the past 20 years). The idea is to grab as much market
share online as possible. For example, the company recently announced an
exclusive four-year $37 million marketing agreement with AOL.

1-800-FLOWERS.com has also done some innovative things with personalization
and one-to-one marketing.

Finally, 1-800-FLOWERS.com has a tremendous brand, which the company has
been able to leverage into other products, like gourmet foods, garden products and gifts.

The IPO Transfer

I bought Kana at the beginning of the year (OTC) who changed their symbol
to KKRS. Are the people who bought KANA going to have shares in the new
KANA coming out?

Reply: Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” Although, it definitely
would have been great, as KANA (KANA)

surged 42-11/16 to 57-11/16 on its first day of trading.

Basically, a change in a ticker symbol has no effect on the ownership of a

Despite this, there have been examples of “ticker confusion.” That is,
investors will buy the shares of a company that has a ticker symbol similar
to the company going public. This is, in fact, what happened to
Ticketmaster Online — CitySearch when it went public.

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