Don't forget to check out this morning's regular installment of Herb on TheStreet.

Yesterday was the first day that analysts of the three firms that took

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

public could recommend the stock. Not surprisingly, all of them recommended the stock, and at midday Wednesday the stock had accordingly put in a 66% gain over three days. (Monday's gain came amid rumors the analysts would recommend the stock.)

Just one problem:

IDT

(IDTC)

(yes,

that

IDT, the telecommunications company that's

no stranger to this column) owns 27.2 million shares, or 57%, of Net2Phone. So, something the analysts

didn't

tell you (tsk, tsk): If you really want to own Net2Phone, you should buy IDT -- assuming, of course, you think IDT is worth owning. (Go back and read this column's previous

coverage, do some additional homework, scan through the cultlike postings on the IDT message boards and make your own decision on IDT as an investment!)

Put another way, 0.77 Net2Phone share underlies every IDT share. That means if you believe Net2Phone is worth, say, 58, then IDT is worth around 45.

But, hey, before you go rushing out to buy IDT as a proxy for Net2Phone, you might want to familiarize yourself with

dELiA*s

(DLIA)

and its Internet spinoff,

iTurf

(TURF)

, and

Ziff-Davis

(ZD)

and its Internet spinoff,

ZDNet

(ZDZ)

. In both cases, Wall Street initially bid up the parent and the spinoff. Then investors in the spinoff realized what fools they were and the stocks of both collapsed.

As I write this, Net2Phone is trading at 62. Does anybody care that the analyst for

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

-- an underwriter on the deal -- initiated coverage with a fourth-quarter 2000 price target of 50 to 52? Apparently not, because in the last two days, the number of shares outstanding of Net2Phone has been bought and sold four times. (Calling P.T. Barnum!)

And while we're on the topic: Anybody ever use Net2Phone's service, which allows you to place a call through your PC over the Internet to another telephone, using a microphone on the PC as a mouthpiece? I have a friend who has the service. Each time he calls using it -- I swear! -- I can't

ever

understand a word he's saying. And he uses a T-1 line! Imagine what it must sound like over a regular phone line.

Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at

herb@thestreet.com. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.

Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.