If our top 10 stocks to watch this year comprised a baseball team it would have hit nine triples and a double bringing in multiple home runs for investors. As a group these stocks gained 173% since December 31 when we
first put them in the spotlight.
The only “portal” listed here, Infoseek (NASDAQ:SEEK), originally made the list based on its relative valuation to its peers. We think Wall Street still thinks of SEEK in the past tense.
Forget Infoseek as you knew it. We believe Infoseek effectively becomes Disney’s Web division, a tracking stock for Disney’s Internet efforts. If it fails we’d be surprised–the combination of Disney, ABC, ESPN and vaults of content could launch Web sites and portals that would make Yahoo! jealous.
Top 10 To Watch 1998
The ‘AOL’ of high-speed services?
The new media
IP networks for
Pure play Web
Plug and play
(c) 1998 Internet.com, Mecklermedia
Similarly, AT&T’s huge $48 billion bid for cable king TCI brings with it
TCI’s 40% stake in cable Internet service @Home (NASDAQ:ATHM). If AOL is a $23 billion market cap firm how about an @Home as a next-generation AOL? One concern though: Why
doesn’t @Home have more than 350,000 subscribers if it passes 5 million
homes? Where is the sales and marketing here?
AOL (NYSE:AOL), more than any other company now represents the best of
breed in the Internet space. We weren’t always believers. But it has the
subscribers, revenue, access, global presence, brand, technology, capital,
management, content, aggregation and nuclear fusion (the stage after
critical mass) to create and perpetuate itself. AOL just sold $500 million
common. In our view AOL represents the flagship Internet stock.
Network Solutions (NASDAQ:NSOL) holds untapped potential also. Consider that every “.com” domain sits in its database–more than 1 million companies and individuals. You can create a lot of commerce around that demographic, and directories, guides, and untold services that go way beyond the registering aspect.
RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) would probably be a Microsoft property if the
Department of Justice didn’t have the software behemoth in its scope.
Microsoft holds options in RNWK and licensed its software. CEO Rob Glaser
was a former ‘Softie so the mindset blends nicely also. On its own
RealNetworks could be an audio-video gateway to the Web in a more
high-profile fashion if it wanted to. The Yahoo! of audio-video that may be the next wave in the Web–multimedia information flow.
Mid-year the 10 are up considerably. As in baseball it’s the top of the fifth with four innings to go. So we’ll check in again with them soon.
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