Internet Stocks, Naughty And Nice

The year began with Internet stocks on a roll that started in the fourth
quarter of ’98 and continued virtually uninterrupted into April.

That surge was reflected in internet.com’s Internet Stock Index, which
gained 110.7 percent in the first four months of 1999, rising from 286.73 on
Dec. 31 to close at 604.10 on April 30.

Since then ‘Net stocks have weathered a few rough spots, but overall
have continued to perform impressively, if not at the same torrid pace.
The ISDEX finished Wednesday at 872.34, up 44.4 percent since the end of April.

But which individual Internet stocks have been kindest to their
investors throughout the year? And which have deposited a large lump of
coal in the portfolio stockings of shareholders?

Here are the top 10 gainers and losers of 1999 through Wednesday’s
trading. The lists are culled solely from the 79 Internet stocks that
have been on the ticker all year (of which 50 are up and 29 are down):

Top 10 Gainers in ’99

  1. White Pine Software (WPNE): 1,225 percent
  2. BroadVision (BVSN): 1,198 percent
  3. Exodus Communications (EXDS): 994 percent
  4. VeriSign (VRSN): 967 percent
  5. InfoSpace.com (INSP): 856 percent
  6. Go2Net (GNET): 803 percent
  7. DoubleClick (DCLK): 796 percent
  8. CMGI (CMGI): 793 percent
  9. InterVU (ITVU): 695 percent
  10. RealNetworks (RNWK): 647 percent

Top 10 Losers in ’99

  1. uBid (UBID): -81 percent
  2. Beyond.com (BYND): -70 percent
  3. Cyberian Outpost (COOL): -70 percent
  4. CyberShop.com (CYSP): -62 percent
  5. Wavo (WAVO): -61 percent
  6. Internet America (GEEK): -61%
  7. CDNow (CDNW): -57%
  8. theglobe.com (TGLO): -55%
  9. Crosswalk.Com (AMEN): -48%
  10. Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (TMCS): -48%

Most of the companies among the 10 biggest gainers are familiar to ‘Net
investors. Eight of them – BroadVision, CMGI, DoubleClick, Exodus,
Go2Net, InfoSpace.com, RealNetworks and VeriSign – are among the 50
stocks in the ISDEX.

The big surprise is the top company, multimedia conferencing technology
provider White Pine Software, whose stock began the year at 2-3/8 and
never saw $10 per share until early November, when it began a dizzying
run-up that saw it reach as high as $30 on Tuesday. A late October
earnings report that showed significantly lower net losses appears to be
the catalyst here.

Meanwhile, while most ‘Net stocks were soaring early in the year, online
auction site uBid was headed in the opposite direction. The company’s
stock entered 1999 at 106-5/8 and headed straight down, dipping below
$20 per share in August. The story here is simple: uBid is a victim of
eBay’s success.

One lesson gleaned from the list of losers is that a clever ticker
symbol (AMEN, COOL, GEEK) is no guarantee of market acceptance.

(Editor’s Note: Stock Tracker will next publish on Monday, Dec. 27 since Friday is a market holiday).


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