Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:24 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Sept. 4. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK (Real Money) -- When we look back at the evolution of the social-, mobile- and cloud-technology offerings of the last year, we should smile about the trajectory of many of the companies that have launched in that time. That's because these stocks have been incredible performers: LinkedIn (LNKD), which announced a huge secondary offering last night; Zillow (Z), which just got a gigantic new shareholder; and Yelp (YELP).
First, consider LinkedIn. Here's a company that came public in May of 2011 at $45, and immediately went to $94, as the social-networking site had a ton of buzz about it. At the time, the opening was widely criticized as a throwback to the dot-bomb days, when people lost fortunes chasing dubious Internet companies without track records or even opportunities for profitability -- or, in some cases, even sales. Sure enough, the stock dropped to $60 six months later, and the chatter was that the site was just a fad -- and that there really wasn't any hope for long-term growth.
Two years later, and you have had a four-fold increase in earnings -- not revenue, but earnings -- and the stock isn't done yet. In fact, I bet its $1 billion offering will be snapped up without any problem, and that it will be put away by growth-seeking money managers who recognize that earnings could conceivably double again next year.Then there's Zillow, the real-estate-listing company. Here's one that is absolutely despised by many short sellers, and there's high-quality research out there that's been saying it is very overpriced. But was it? The stock had its initial public offering at $20 on July 20, 2011, and immediately opened at $35.77 amid calls of Internet over-exuberance. After all, wasn't this just a company that helped you find the price of your house? Sure enough, it came to earth fast, or at least almost back to its IPO price, trading to $22 six months later amid suggestions that the competition had gotten too great. When I mentioned this stock positively just a week ago, I was bombarded by people who thought it was overvalued. Among them was a fellow who was all over me with top-notch research about what a joke Zillow was, including this gem: "It doesn't even own its own content!" Maybe someone should tell that to Australian billionaire James Packer. We learned last night that he bought 9.4% of the company. No wonder its secondary offering -- five million shares price at $82, a 3% discount to the last sale -- worked so well.
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