SAN FRANCISCO -- Forget
10,000 -- check out these numbers.
was up 43 points today.
closed 34 points higher,
ended 28 5/8 points higher and
closed up 26 points.
Gains in these companies helped lift the
to a 49.91 point gain or 2% compared with the 1% gain in the Dow, which came up short in its quest for the overhyped 10,000 mark (love that
ticker that's counting down the points left until 10,000).
Network Solutions closed 43 points higher, or 19%, at 265 on a number of factors. The stock got a lift from initiation of coverage by
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey
, which placed a 12-month price target of $300. Network Solutions also announced that it had registered its four-millionth Web address (the address, riedelglass.com, was for Austrian glassmaker
). Network Solutions also will be splitting 2-for-1 on March 23, so it could be getting some pre-split hype as well.
Shares of RealNetworks surged this afternoon on a flurry of rumors that the streaming media leader is set to announce a 2-for-1 stock split later this week, or some other major bit of news. The stock closed up 26 1/8 to 121 1/4, or 27.5%, on heavy-duty volume of 2,189,00 -- more than three times its average three-month volume of nearly 700,00. It topped its previous 52-week high of 109 1/8.
"Any time a stock goes over the century mark, the prospect of a stock split has to be taken seriously," says Robert J. Martin, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey. Company officials did not return calls to
Today's run-up may also reflect the paltry supply of the company's stock, as well as takeover rumors. RealNetworks' float is three million shares, with around 30 million shares outstanding, according to
. Also, with consolidation fever heating up,
CEO Mark Cuban speculated in an article this weekend that RealNetworks will be acquired this year by a major telecommunications company. On the other hand, some company watchers say it's highly unlikely that CEO Rob Glaser will want to relinquish control of his four-year old company.
Instead of rumor and technical analysis, some analysts claim that the RealNetworks' run-up may stem more from fundamental changes in the company's business model. Analyst Martin says RealNetworks is beginning to get serious about developing advertising as a new revenue stream. In fact, at February's
BancBoston Robertson Stephens Tech 99 conference
said that the company plans to commercialize the channel guide of the RealPlayer this year.
As an example of this new revenue source, Martin notes
Rolling Stone Radio
, a co-branded audio player that
and RealNetworks recently launched. The two companies, says Martin, are splitting ad revenues generated by the player. In the past, RealNetworks had been reluctant to monetize its player for fear of competing with its content partners. "The gist of the story over the last couple of weeks is that they're flipping the switch on the ad model of the RealPlayer," says Martin. In a research note published March 2, Martin reiterated his buy rating and raised his 12-month price target from $75 to $100. Asked what he was going to do to the price target now, Martin replies, "There's only so many times you can raise your price target in a month."
gains followed news that
, the investment group of
co-founder Paul Allen, would invest $300 million in the company and buy as much as five million shares for $90 a share. The $750 million investment would yield Allen 54% of the Internet search directory. Allen is expected to integrate and offer Go2net's portal services over the cable companies with which he is affiliated. Go2Net closed 26 1/8 higher at 113 1/8.
CMGI closed up 28 5/8 or 17.5%. Peter Mills, the general partner in CMGI's investment arm,
, says a confederation of third parties, which "could include CMGI," was looking to
. The Nasdaq also announced after the close on Friday that CMGI would be added to the
beginning on Wednesday.
Bottomline Technologies continued the climb that started last week after a number of firms initiated coverage of the stock. It closed 34 points higher, or 59%, at 92 1/4.
-- David Shabelman and Spencer Ante
Name That Net Play
rose 8% to 15 7/16 after the company -- which uses the Internet to sell books and software and to offer online training courses to tech companies -- says it will expand its business model into new industries such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. As part of its new image, the company will take on a new -- and as yet undisclosed -- name later this month.
The company says the move will open it up to new customers including
and Raytheon (RTNa:NYSE).
"We want to become
," says President and CEO Chris MacAskill, "while
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
analyst Stephen Franco says the move is a big one for Computer Literacy. Moving into new industries will limit overlap in the company's inventory with Amazon.com. Once a company signs up to use Computer Literacy's service, "it's a locked-in customer base because of the strength of the corporate relationships," Franco says. "It's hard to exit."
-- Suzanne Galante