Recent Internet Infrastructure IPOs Continue to Lead Sector Higher

Akamai Technologies, Sycamore Networks and Foundry Networks have all shown little sign of weakening since making strong debuts.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- A number of high-profile Internet companies have gone public over the past few weeks with astounding first-day results. What has happened since?

The latest highflier,

Akamai Technologies

(AKAM) - Get Report

posted an amazing 119-point, or 458%, gain Friday. Today, it was up another 20 9/16, or 14%, at 165 3/4.

Also,

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

and

Foundry Networks

(FDRY)

have shown little letup since their debuts. Both are in the hot Internet infrastructure sector and were benefiting from investor infatuation with these stocks.

Sycamore traded as high as 270 7/8 when it went public Oct. 22. But it closed that day at 184 3/4 and traded as low as 170 Oct. 25, but it has traded steadily higher since then. Today it was up 9, or 4.2%, at 224. Foundry has bounced around a little more. It closed at 156 1/4 in its first day of trading Sept. 28 and reached a low of 117 7/8 three sessions later, but it has traded above that level since then. Today, it was up 6, or 3%, at 195 1/2.

Randall Roth, analyst with the

Renaissance Capital IPO

fund, said that playing the waiting game usually is most prudent. He said "buying high and selling higher" was generally a tough way to make money. But, he said, those high-profile stocks that are offering a unique product and are "not just a new moniker on the same product" have a better chance of performing well in the aftermarket, though he still recommended waiting a week or two to see how things shake out. He advised doing research on the company, knowing what it does and why it is hot.

Traders who bought into

NaviSite

(NAVI) - Get Report

on its first day of trading Oct. 22 and got stuck with the session high of 47 may have been a little depressed when it closed at 34 5/8. It dropped as low as 33 1/4 in its second session, but has been climbing since then and has finally topped that opening-day high of 47 today, recently trading up 1 7/8, or 4%, at 48 7/8.

Aug. 3 was a

tough day for a couple of Internet IPOs,

Quotesmith.com

(QUOT) - Get Report

and

1-800-Flowers.com

(FLWS) - Get Report

, which both closed lower than their opening prices. After closing its first day at 9 11/16, Quotesmith, an Internet-based insurance service, climbed as high as 13 5/8 on Aug. 27. It was flat at 8 1/4 in trading today. And 1-800-Flowers.com peaked at 23 3/16 on Aug. 30 after underwriters for the offering began coverage on the online flower shop. But it was recently down 7/16, or 3.4%, at 12 7/16. Roth said that both companies face solid competition, one reason for their not-so-stellar performance.

AT&T in Court

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

was trading higher on a day when an appeals court panel is set to hear testimony on whether cable operators should be forced to open their networks to Internet service providers. A district court judge ruled against

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

on the issue in

June. AT&T holds a majority of voting power in Excite@Home, whose service uses cable lines to provide high-speed Internet access. Excite@Home was up 1 11/16, or 4.5%, at 39 1/16, while AT&T was up 15/16, or 2%, at 47 11/16.