Internet Stocks Go Against Market Decline

The ISDEX bucked the market’s downtrend on Friday as a few key stocks climbed on rumblings that takeovers and mergers are not done yet. Today’s snapshot:



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  • AOL (NYSE:AOL) is a rumored (again) takeover candidate by AT&T (NYSE:T). With @Home-Excite coming under the phone giant’s wing, adding AOL would give it the meta-brand it needs to become a truly global powerhouse in bit carriage. For that’s the business AT&T is in — carrying bits. The wires don’t matter, owning them does, as does having something to ship on them. If it happens, which seems unlikely at this point, this is more a merger of equals in our opinion.
  • IPO candidate Critical Path just signed a deal with AOL to provide outsourced email services to AOL’s 26 million ICQ instant message users. See IPOWatch for our analysis of Critical Path’s filing.
  • Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS) CEO Bob Davis once again tells Wall Street why the proposed merger with USA Networks Internet assets and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (NASDAQ:TMCS) makes sense. LCOS shares fall further as the Street doesn’t think the package is easily understood and that LCOS’ pro forma 30% ownership could be low. We agree. Lycos Web reach rivals that of Yahoo and we view LCOS as having more leverage in the deal.

    USA Networks Home Shopping Network, which would be rolled into this, is a huge dollar generator with $1.5 billion sales annually. Discussion aside the proof is in the pudding. If executed properly it could be a winner in our opinion.

    Lycos’ numbers look strong for the latest quarter also. Revenue jumps 142% to $30.6 million for its second quarter ending January 31 vs. same quarter last year. Loss is $9.3 million with acquisition charges tossed in or $1.5 million loss without, that’s $0.03 loss per share.

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