Net Profits for the Taking

Key Internet names post better-than-expected results. In this market, that doesn't necessarily mean their stocks will go up.
Publish date:

Listening to

America Online


in one ear, typing in the other, and wouldn't you know it, here I am stuck right outside the

Tunnel Diner

, the one with the griddle so hot that it burns all but the most fleet. Just like the Net today.

Sure did cool on


(EBAY) - Get Report

. Blow-out quarter and nothing doing. Just bought a tad at 206 with more offered there.

AOL's trading down, and why not, it was as great a quarter as



and eBay, so it should act as punky as they did.

I hate outright sarcasm. All of the how-to-be-a-good-dad books emphasize how damaging sarcasm can be. But how can I be anything but sarcastic when trying to decipher the trading in the Net? (I'm trying to raise ratings here, not kids!)

Look, there were no flies on any of the quarters. They were indeed better than expected. They were indeed better than the whispers (yes I am long them). But they had run up, everybody got too excited and insiders hit bids. The shorts covered ahead and the longs wanted out. Profits were there to be taken.

We have seen this pattern time and again. I am sure that there will be more death pronouncements. Somebody out there is probably dusting off the AOL obit as I write this. ("Put a new topper on it and let 'er rip!")

I like to let some go when they are too hot and buy them back when they cool. It's trading. It is what I do.

Looks like I won't have to wait too long.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long America Online, eBay and DoubleClick, although positions can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at