Internet Stocks Ahead of Last Year’s Pace

It would be absolutely unreasonable for anybody to expect Internet stocks to repeat last year’s record performance, much of which was built on a torrid run-up that started in late 1998 and peaked last spring. Indeed, investment experts have warned that last year’s gains in ‘Net shares were unprecedented and not likely to be seen again.

So far, however, it appears that the new year may be up to the challenge. A look at’s Internet Stock Index shows that, through Thursday’s trading, the ISDEX is up 29.2% so far this year. At the same point (March 9) last year, the ISDEX was up “only” 18.9%.

Here’s some more evidence that ‘Net stocks show no signs of slowing down: Numbers from’s Internet StockTracker spreadsheet shows that 47 Internet stocks (out of about 300) have more than doubled in price in the past three months of trading through Thursday’s close.

And 12 of those have more than tripled in value. Let’s see who the early highest-flyers are:

Company 3-Month Gain
NaviSite 435% 383%
Terayon Communications 334% 328%
Network-1 Security 250%
Digital Lava 248%
Spyglass 247%
Tibco Software 212%
i2 Technologies 212% 203%
VocalTec 202%
Data Return 201%

Only one of the companies listed above was on 1999’s list of top 10 gainers: (INSP), which rose 1,023 percent last year. (INSP was trading Friday afternoon at $254 per share; it closed 1998 at $9.53.)

Several others, in contrast, languished for most or all of last year, including (GENI), Network-1 Security Solutions (NSSI) and Digital Lava (DGV).

What does it all mean? It means that while the shares being run up may be different, the market’s demand for ‘Net stocks is not abating, but intensifying, despite concerns about interest rates and overvaluation. The bulls are still in control.

Are we looking at a repeat performance? Discuss it here

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