of all let’s get the usage and reach stats out of the way:Yahoo!
(NASDAQ:YHOO) ranks third in overall unique users according to data from
Media Metrix. That’s counting the consolidated Web sites of each of the top
10 shown. AOL (NYSE:AOL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) come in at the top two
slots. These stats reflect home and work combined reach.
Is that bad
news for the Yahooligans? Not if we look further. Yahoo ranks first in work
usage while AOL drops to fourth, behind Lycos (NASDAQ:LCOS)–one reason why
AOL wants to acquire Netscape (NASDAQ:NSCP), to boost the work side.
jostling in the usage and reach have a direct bearing on what WEBDEX is all
about: counting the market cap divided by unique user, looking for
“user-trage” (arbitrage in user disparity). And there’s tons.
for Netscape, for example, drew out the value of Netcenter users rather
quickly as it gained 12.7% the past week.
Alta Vista, part of Compaq
(NASDAQ:CPQ), finds some upside in our private market valuation of it based
on its relative discount. Yet being part of CPQ makes getting at AltaVista
value from an investor perspective almost impossible. Nobody buys CPQ stock
for AltaVista. Yet we’re coming into the belief that AltaVista’s value may
become pronounced if Compaq focuses a little on it, ups the ante or spins
it off. We favor the spinoff.
Lycos now counts 51% more users than Excite
(NASDAQ:XCIT). Its buying binge put it out ahead. Can Excite afford not to
acquire traffic/users now?
Market cap or PMV*
Market cap or PMV*
AVG. without Yahoo
) 1998 internet.com *PMV=estimated private market value for Web site only;
users, media metrix
Another way of looking at WEBDEX is this: we break out this handy
comparison of how each of the top 10 rates in percent vs. the average for
the group. Percents tell a nice story. While all users are not valued equal
brand and growth offer some insight to Wall Street’s treatment or leaning
towards some vs. others. Management also counts, along with earnings (yes,
even for Internet companies).
Firms compared to
of avg. value
The percent table shows Yahoo users trade at 430% of the average for the
top 10, with some justification owed to the pent-up expectations of
greatness that having a global leading brand provides. Nothing more in our
view. Revenue-wise, Netscape.com generates top line in league with
But Yahoo’s consolidated under one umbrella approach so far has
worked we believe, thanks to its history and memorable name.
(NASDAQ:MSFT) challenge at #2 reach/users seems to still be integration
among its Web assets HotMail, MSN, Expedia, Investor, CarPoint, Home
Advisor, and more.
While we show a blended value per Micrsooft.com(s)
sites we also believe that a customer on Expedia is worth more than a
software surfer downloading freeware versions of FrontPage.
sites enter the list again after October’s jostling with Infoseek
(NASDAQ:SEEK), which it owns 43% of. How these two mesh will become evident
as their combined effort go.com gets going.
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