Why the ICO Bankruptcy May Not Be Good for Globalstar

Also, more on Internet telephony, message boards and a poll on Amazon.
Author:
Publish date:

Tuesday thud (a short one today):

Satellite silliness:

Last week's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by

ICO Global Communications

(ICOGF)

, an

Iridium

(IRIDQ)

competitor in the satellite phone biz, caused some investors to think that bad news for ICO is good news for

Globalstar Telecommunications

(GSTRF)

, the industry's

other

big player. But as one of this column's best sources on Iridium -- who is short a little Globalstar -- put it: That couldn't be further from the truth.

"The way I read it," he says, "is that the capital markets are closed to this concept." Yet investors are valuing Globalstar, with a $2.1 billion market cap, as if it's a given that it'll get its system up and running -- and that it'll get it up on schedule. Whether it does or doesn't, he believes it'll have to raise more cash, and raise it sooner rather than later. Which brings us back to the capital markets being closed to the concept. Can't raise cash if nobody'll give it to you.

Internet telephoney:

Last thing I'm sure you want to read anything about anymore, in the

wake of last week's frenzy over

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

, is Internet telephony. But

Jefferies

analyst Greg Miller, whose firm

doesn't

have an investment banking relationship with either

IDT

(IDTC)

or Net2Phone, is a former IDT bull but a nonbeliever of Net2Phone. In light of the recent mania, he republished a report called, "Internet Telephony, the Great Myth." Miller's bottom line, as it pertains to

all

Internet telephone stocks: Whatever cost advantage they may have over regular phone service will soon be eliminated. (How long will it be before

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

,

Sprint

(FON)

and

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

take their price war overseas?)

Message board melee:

To follow up on

G.B. Smith's

commentary from

yesterday on Internet message boards: Some of these boards are making a mockery of the first amendment. (Just take a look at the

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

boards on

TheStreet.com

(TSCM)

or any stock mentioned, in a not-so-positive light, in this column!) Last time I checked freedom of speech didn't cover libel, defamation and securities fraud -- or encouraging securities fraud. Regulators can deal with the fraud; attorneys will deal with the rest. (Why folks who post don't realize that their identities are traceable is beyond my feebleness.)

Internet time:

Jeff Matthews's measured comments

here yesterday on

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

sparked considerable reaction. Most were like

Don Burnstein

, who wrote, "I was wondering when someone would get a handle on Amazon. Looks like Jeff nailed it." Time will tell if he did, but in the meantime, do you believe that Internet time is no longer on Amazon's side?

Is Time Still on Amazon's Side?

Yes

No

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.