The dot-com pendulum has swung too far. The dot-com analysts, buried in their foxholes under scads of 52-week-low debris and detritus, are afraid to even speak positively about the group. They won't even poke their heads up, for fear of getting shot by snipers on their own sales forces.
, the dot-com stock that did the best last week, rallied not because it guided revenue up -- revenue was not revised upward by much -- but because it guided costs down massively, a strategy that might lead to slower growth overall.
I know I heard it loud and clear on
conference call and other dot-com conference calls. (
is the publisher of this Web site.) The "it" is fear, fear that the dot-com world is coming apart and that nobody will be left standing. One question posed by analysts on
call, for example, was about how many dot-com advertisers the company had, and whether they were able to pay.
I don't want to single out our advertisers, but if they aren't paying, the world is coming to an end, and I don't see that happening.
Some of the advertisers are employers of the analysts, so if we should be worried about getting paid, they should be worried about their paychecks!
When does this ridiculous climate of fear and loathing end? Frankly, it will end when the consolidation finally happens, and the consolidation is done with real money, not funny money. In other words, if National Gift.com buys International Packaging.com with National Gift.com's stock, I say no big deal. At home we trade in Skittles and
french fries when I want the kids to do something and their mother isn't around. I would rather get Skittles and fries than a lot of the paper that's out there. But if an old-line company were finally to take advantage of the depressed valuations of dot-coms, and pay out cash, you would see a bottom put in fast.
It sure hasn't happened yet. Most of the acquisitions out there are still too dilutive. What a testament to overvaluation!
But when it does, there will be a real scramble. That's why I keep pressing
Matt "Flounder" Jacobs
-- relax, they are bottom-feeders -- for a list of stocks trading around their cash position. I don't think you can wait until after a deal occurs in some of these cases.
They aren't going to go much lower from here.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long TheStreet.com. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may 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