Net Stock Picks for the Millennium: Part I

I decided to post this article a few days before the new year (who knows,
there could be some type of Y2K glitch). These are my top 10 picks for the
New Year. This column is Part One; tomorrow, I will post the final
installment.

Let’s get started:

CMGI (CMGI):
Sure, the stock price has had a great run. But expect much more of the
same for the new year. The company is a Net powerhouse and has investments
in a myriad of hot Net companies that will hit NASDAQ. Companies include
bizbuyer.com, AuctionWatch, Furniture.com, FindLaw, Visto and on and on.

The founder and CEO David Wetherell is a pioneer of the Net space and has
yet to slow down. For example, he has been using CMGI stock as an
effective tool to build assets, buying such companies as Flycast
Communications for $690 million and AdForce for $500 million. CMGI also
has interests in Engage Technologies and AdSmart. In short order, Wetherell
has built an online advertising powerhouse that rivals DoubleClick.

The company recently announced that it has established a B2B fund. The fund
will have $1 billion to play with.

MP3.com (MPPP):
The music industry — which has been resistant to change for decades — is
finally coming under much pressure, led primarily from MP3.com. The company
is becoming the platform for online music, a true music service provider (MSP).

The MP3.com model is a direct attack on the music industry. MP3.com allows
artists to post their music and then split gross revenues 50-50. The
traditional model is to give the artist a measly 8 percent to 10 percent.

So, it is no surprise that MP3.com has more than 250,000 tracks (from 40,000
artists). Moreover, a variety of major artists have signed on, such as TLC,
Alanis Morissette and the Goo Goo Dolls.

MP3.com has been leveraging its base. For example, the company recently
added greeting cards. Or, there was the acquisition yesterday of
SeeUThere.com, which will allow event planning and ticketing.

In the new year, MP3.com should continue to have strong growth numbers, as
well as many new artists that sign-on.

The IPO was priced at $28 and surged beyond $100 per share. However, the
stock is now at $35. Actually, I think the company represents the best Net
value play.

Homestore.com (HOMS):
Needless to say, the real estate industry is huge (one of the biggest in
the US). What’s more, purchasing a house is one of the most important
decisions for families. Of course, HomeStore.com has the tools to make the
decision much easier and smarter.

What makes the company so compelling is that it has an exclusive arrangement
with the National Association of Realtors, which controls most of the
housing listings in the US. And the key to any real estate site is
listings.

But the site is also useful for real estate professionals, such as agents
and brokers. There is also a site for commercial builders.

Ashford.com (ASFD):
The luxury retail market is highly fragmented. Further, a typical store
has limited product selections. Sounds like a great environment for a Web
site, huh?

So far, Ashford.com has been the trailblazer of this new industry. On the
site, you can buy a wide assortment of luxury items, such as sun glasses,
diamonds, necklaces, pens and so on.

Interestingly enough, Ashford.com got a strategic investment from Amazon.com
(a 16.6 percent stake). The deal will allow Ashford.com to market its items to
Am

azon.com’s 13 million customers.

Intuit (INTU):
Okay, I wrote about Intuit this week.


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