Adam Lashinsky on the State of the Internet
Dan Colarusso on Internet Growth Projections
Katherine Hobson on E-tailers' Push for Profitability
Catherine Valenti on Ailing Internet Funds
Jamie Heller on Using the Net to Track Net Stocks
Tracy Byrnes on the Frenzy Next Time
George Mannes on Self-Hating Dot-Coms
K.C. Swanson on Old Economy Winners
David Gaffen on Measuring the Internet Economy
Ian McDonald on 'Butterfly' Companies
Justin Lahart on Real Net Valuations
Joe Bousquin on Building the Perfect Net Company
A Dan Gross Opinion Piece: Were the Old Guys Right?
TSC Roundtable on Predicting Six-Month Winners
Roland Jones on The Last Days of Daytrading
Eric Gillin on Working for a Dot-Com
Whether you're dumping your last Net share or think this group is about to get spunky, you may be trolling for some news and ideas on Net stocks.
This special edition of the
What Works column presents some lesser known sites that
writers, along with
readers, find useful, or at least amusing, or neither. If there are sites you like that aren't on this list, or if there are sites you
, please let us know with an email to
This information site is something of a paean to the New Economy. Brandishing its own "MetaMarkets Manifesto," the site preaches that the "unprecedented technological, political and social change has created a new world, and a New Economy" that calls for a "new approach to investing focused on optimism, innovation and growth."
Anyone who's been feeling pessimistic, skeptical, and cautious after clutching the New Economy mantra might not warm to MetaMarkets.com.
But if you are a TB -- true believer -- or just want to get educated about things like broadband and B2B from an investing perspective, it's a good place to be.
The site is run by
, an investment company that manages a real New Economy mutual fund, the
OpenFund. Consistent with its manifesto, the fund invests in New Economy-type stocks and discloses its holdings and trades on the
Web site. (It's co-managed by
, a contributor to
MetaMarkets.com takes real stands on Net-related stocks with opinions from smart people, providing far more than the workaday press release rewrite. In a
recent piece on
, MetaMarkets co-founder Dave Nadig made some candid comments about his misgivings on the buy-sell choice. Plus, you get a nice combo of fundamental and technical analysis.
As its URL indicates, this site is strictly about Net stocks and how to play them, mostly short term. The name suggests a long bias toward the group, but from what I've read, it's really about interest in -- not unfettered advocacy of -- Net stocks.
"Tech stocks are a lot cheaper now than in the spring, but it's difficult to make the case that they're attractively valued," an Oct. 23 editorial said. (The same piece, however, did call
"attractive" at current levels, without saying why besides the fact that it's "financially strong," large and, unlike many peers, profitable.)
Brought to my attention by reader
, the site features a Sunday-through-Thursday email newsletter with news, lengthy stock and market analysis, and bullish and bearish plays. (Actually, it's
to be an email newsletter, but despite my having subscribed, I never received it. It could be an admin glitch on my part or theirs.)
While the analysis often takes a long-term outlook, the plays -- largely based on charting, or technical analysis -- are suited for short-term moves.
It was unclear who backs this entity, though it appears to be affiliated with
www.splittrader.com. It keeps an easy-to-read
scoreboard of its plays' success on its Web page. Also, while I don't see conflict-of-interest disclosures next to discussions of specific stocks, the site says that its staffers could be holding positions.
As I've only heard from one reader about this site, I'd welcome more info on whether others have found the newsletters useful. Please email
An information and analysis site that focuses on Internet and tech (also with a global view),
is supposed to give "unique analysis." But when I visited on the afternoon of Oct. 24, I didn't find much that I hadn't seen elsewhere: a story on a president resignation at
that occurred on the prior Friday, a
layoff story that I had read in the
New York Post
earlier that morning. And the site was incredibly slow (even on a second visit), so slow that I almost gave up on this review. Which it seems would have been just as well. Am I missing something here?
Whether you like this site will depend partly on what you think of Wall Street research analysts. The site contains briefs about Net stocks from analysts at
, the West Coast-based research shop. Robbie Stephens, as it's known, has a reputation for being early to and active in the New Economy stocks. Their analysts cover areas like what they call eServices and eConsumer rather than just Internet.
The research doesn't seem as puffy as analyst coverage often is. A report last week on what it calls the iBuilders (strategists and consultants), like
, for example, says "Don't expect a cure in Q4. In our opinion, it could be a repeat of Q3, except that growth expectations will be lower going in. That could reduce the number of negative preannouncements but may obscure the fact that not much has changed. What will get these stocks back up again? They're not likely to ever see the heights they did earlier this year, in our view."
Still, nearly all stock analysts who work for investment banking firms like Robertson Stephens are plagued by the conflicting interests of balancing "independent research" with their firms' lust for IPO and M&A business. So, IMHO, you can only take their stuff so far. As an example, that Razorfish analyst put out a positive comment about the stock last week (albeit while lowering revenue and earnings estimates) and reiterated a buy rating, according to the site. The firm has done recent underwriting for Razorfish.
Overall, hats off to Robby Stephens for offering up at least portions of its research for free in one easy-to-access place. For many firms, the only places online to get their reports are largely paid research report sites like
(to which internetstocks.com links).
BTW: Investment bank
has a site too,
. But its reports are more macro and less stock specific. Plus, some are out of date. Do you really want to read a March 2000 report titled "The Global Internet Opportunity Unfolds"? In hindsight, perhaps it should have read "Implodes."
A site great for two things: (a) comic relief for those getting slammed by owning or working for Net companies; and (b) refreshing skepticism in an world where New Economy naysayers had long found themselves branded as unopportunistic fuddy-duddies.
The basic idea of the site is a betting game where you can cast your vote for the next dot.com to be, let's say, "terminated." But the site's become a kind of news/rumor depository for Net layoffs, closures, and failed financing attempts.
"I should just ask
to write the
news every day and save me the hassle," the site read on Oct. 30, following yet another shuttering of a company funded by the West Coast dot-com financier.
As for using the site for investing ideas, it depends on whether you think layoffs are a good sign or bad sign. Either way, so much of the "news" is rumor and acknowledged as such, it's best to rely on the site for humor, not financial advice.
is to the broader market what F***ed Company is to individual companies: a brutal satire of the market/Net craze. With features like "Worthless Press Release of the Day" and the "Gold Bubble" contest for readers who identify "the kind of audacious money-grabbing move that represents the best of today's economy," the site could make any New Economy bull feel a bit foolish. Which is arguably preferable to feeling, say, poor, after having been suckered by hype.