Honey, I Shrunk The List Of ‘Net Gainers!

For many months following the meltdown of Internet stocks that began in March, the number of ‘Net tickers hanging onto gains for the year held around 30 or so, occasionally bouncing up to three dozen.

Now, as we slog toward December, the latest tech nosedive leaves us facing the sobering prospect that fewer than 10 of the nearly 300 Internet companies trading since last Dec. 31 will post year-to-date advances. That’s less than 4%. I doubt even the most bearish investor could have predicted such a sorry showing for ‘Net stocks.

Among the stocks recently tumbling into the red are Broadcom, Ariba, Wireless Facilities, Art Technology Group, Aether Systems, Perficient, Cisco Systems, Bottomline Technologies and CacheFlow.

By my count, that leaves only 13 ‘Net stocks on the north side of break-even. The most-represented sectors are Security, with four companies on the list, and Performance Software, with three.

Here are the YTD gainers through Monday’s close:

Ticker  Company                  % Gain     Sector 

GENI    GenesisIntermedia          212%     Consultants/Designers
JNPR    Juniper Networks           149%     Speed/Bandwidth
CHKP    Check Point Software       118%     Security
RIMM    Research In Motion          68%     Wireless
IDTC    IDT                         51%     ISPs/Access Providers
NETE    Netegrity                   37%     Security
CLKS    click2learn.com             29%     Internet Services
OTEX    Open Text                   25%     Performance Software
ISSX    Internet Security Systems   20%     Security
ITWO    i2 Technologies             16%     E-commerce Enablers  
IWOV    Interwoven                  15%     Performance Software
TIBX    TIBCO Software               4%     Performance Software
WGRD    WatchGuard Technologies      2%     Security

While some of the fall-aways could reappear on the list, notably Cisco, market trends certainly don’t point in that direction. And more than half of the current survivors have a tenuous grip on YTD gains. Only the top four or five companies listed appear to be relatively assured of maintaining any kind of advance.

All in all, this is a year that can’t end soon enough for Internet investors. Trouble is, the slate doesn’t get wiped clean come 2001.

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