The Direct Approach

The online brokers are not the only firms making full-service stockbrokers
miserable.

There is another group, represented mainly by StockPower
and
NetStock Direct.

They allow for
direct stock-purchase plans (DSPPs). That is, you can buy stock directly
from the company — say Dell or Yahoo!

There are many advantages to DSPPs. The commissions are usually minimal, if
not zero. You can also reinvest your dividends and set-up investment plans
(say, invest $1,000 per month and so on). By using the Web, DSPPs are
painlessly easy.

As for companies, they like the plans, too. The shareholders usually are
long-term. What’s more, the paperwork is less. Companies also have a better
idea of who their shareholders are.

This week, StockPower was able to raise $22 million (its second round). As
for NetStock Direct, it has raised $12 million.

What will they do with the money? Well, probably lots of advertising. So
don’t be surprised if you here more about this over the next year.


ISDEX












































































































































































































-8.57%


















































































































































ISDEX (r)

 

9-Sept.

% change

The Internet Stock
Index

 

close

from

www.isdex.com

   

3-Sept.

     

close

ISDEX

 

504.51

0.58%

NASDAQ

 

2774.62

-2.21%

DJIA

 

11198.45

1.14%

       

Amazon.com

AMZN

63.63

1.91%

American Online

AOL

96.25

-0.58%

Ariba

ARBA

143.13

4.38%

At Home

ATHM

40

-2.30%

Axent Technologies

AXNT

13.38

2.92%

Broadcom Corp

BRCM

125.38

-3.97%

Broadvision

BVSN

106.5

-2.74%

Beyond.com Corp

BYND

15.94

-5.18%

CDNow Inc.

CDNW

13.44

-6.08%

Checkpoint Software

CHKP

90.69

6.00%

CMGI Inc

CMGI

87.38

1.31%

Concentric Networks

CNCX

23.44

2.45%

CNET Inc.

CNET

41.5

0.00%

Cisco

CSCO

69.94

-1.41%

Cybercash

CYCH

8.44

-4.20%

Doubleclick

DCLK

101.31

3.50%

eBay

EBAY

144.44

8.19%

E*TRADE GROUP

EGRP

23.53

-5.88%

Earthlink Networks

ELNK

45.5

-4.97%

Exodus Communications

EXDS

77.59

2.51%

Go2Net Inc.

GNET

66.5

-0.46%

Healtheon

HLTH

34.63

2.03%

Inktomi Corp

INKT

124.88

7.89%

Infospace.com

INSP

47.5

1.19%

ISS Group

ISSX

29.25

17.56%

iVilliage Group

IVIL

32

Juniper

JNPR

192.19

-0.55%

Lycos Inc.

LCOS

44.13

-1.39%

Mindspring

MSPG

29

0.42%

Network Associates

NETA

18.81

3.75%

Network Solutions

NSOL

65.88

12.37%

Open Market Inc.

OMKT

12.25

2.08%

Onsale Inc.

ONSL

15.19

2.08%

Priceline.com

PCLN

58.16

-12.38%

Prodigy Comm Inc.

PRGY

16.69

-6.29%

PSINet

PSIX

47.63

0.15%

Preview Travel

PTVL

17.13

3.82%

RealNetworks

RNWK

88.5

0.64%

Secure Dynamics

SDTI

25.88

2.50%

Infoseek Corp.

SEEK

30.75

-0.81%

Security First

SONE

40.75

-6.06%

Sportsline USA

SPLN

25.75

5.10%

StarMedia

STRM

45.38

3.14%

24/7 Media Inc.

TFSM

28.94

-20.58%

TicketMaster-City
Search

TMCS

23.75

-7.34%

USWeb Corp

USWB

28.06

22.64%

Verio Inc.

VRIO

33

-5.88%

Verisign Inc.

VRSN

110.63

1.26%

Xoom.com Inc.

XMCM

36.75

-2.34%

Yahoo Inc.

YHOO

162.69

4.96%

  • 99.09.09 – Starmedia (STRM)
    , the leading portal for Latin American, continues to string deals.

    The
    latest is with Hewlett-Packard (HWP).

    It’s part of HP’s new Millennium plan, in which the company gives away
    hardware and software to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to bolster
    e-commerce. HP makes money by revenue sharing. Starmedia also announced a
    deal recently with AT&T to provide network services.

  • 99.09.09 – NetObjects (NETO)
    announced a deal with
    Concentric Network Corp. (CNCX)
    to provide hosting services to the huge NetObjects’ user base.

    The
    service will be free. How will money be made? By allowing users to do
    e-commerce. NetObjects has two main products, one for the development of
    small Web sites and another for creating corporate intranets.

    The company
    had its IPO this year, but came out during a bad time. Though the stock is
    perking up. Also, the company is selling at a steep discount to its peers
    (the market cap for NetObjects is $197 million).

    Vignette (VIGN)
    has a market cap of $2.28 billion and
    Allaire (ALLR)
    has a market cap $566 million.

  • 99.09.07 – It’s called the “pre-IPO pump-up”; that is, to get
    excitement for an IPO, a company will announce a huge deal — right on the
    eve of the road show.

    This is what Medscape has done, by signing a three
    year advertising agreement with AOL for $33 million (AOL also gets
    warrants).

    Medscape also announced that CBS bought a 35 percent stake.
    However, the online healthcare space is definitely getting very crowded.
    How many of these sites do we really need?


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