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A selection of some of the most intriguing tech stock ideas on the Web. The items presented do not represent the views of

; rather, the collection is offered as a service to our members who may be scanning the Web for stock-related information.

MindSpring and EarthLink

Steve Harmon

(Jan. 15)

When figuring which dial-up Internet service provider's shares are the better buy, the key is to decide how much each subscriber is worth to the companies in question, says Internet stock analyst Steve Harmon.



is acquiring



400,000 Netcom Internet subscribers for $245 million, or $612 per subscriber. Nevertheless, investors seem to think MindSpring's subscribers are worth much more. Before the Netcom acquisition, investors valued subscribers of MindSpring at $4,542 each. After the acquisition, when MindSpring reaches the important milestone of 1 million subscribers, that value finds a more reasonable level of $2,498.

On the other hand,



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currently stands at a valuation per subscriber of $1,954, says Harmon. The company also has more than 1 million subscribers.

Those differing valuations show either that "MSPG may be ahead of itself or ELNK may be behind the valuation curve, relatively speaking," says Harmon. "Knowing the EarthLink team's commitment, we lean towards the latter."

More information can be found at:


Richard Young

(Jan. 18)

Little turquoise computers seem to have become incredibly popular, and have shown themselves as the savior for


(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report

. Apple's iMac "outsold all other brands in U.S. retail as well as mail order during the holiday season," says Richard Young of

Richard C. Young's Intelligence Report

. They even beat No. 1




In addition, Apple's share of mail order and retail markets doubled to 10% since the summer of 1998. And that trend should continue, considering Apple's plans for new, more powerful products, including a portable version of the iMac before next summer, he says.

Currently selling at a market cap below its revenues, Apple is ripe for a merger with a "big brother," like

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Sunworks Inc. Report

, he says.

More information can be found at:


William Schaff

(Jan. 18)

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, software companies may be in for a rough ride in 1999 because so many resources will be diverted to testing for the Y2K bug, says money manager William Schaff. Indeed, leading vendor


(SAP) - Get SAP SE ADS Report

has seen its shares fall recently due to near-term growth concerns. But the company is still the best in the field, so it should do fine after 2000, says Schaff, chief investment officer at

Bay Isle Financial Corp.

in San Francisco.

The company recently announced that its revenues and earnings for 1988 would fall below analysts' estimates, and fourth-quarter revenue growth appears to have slowed to a 15% rate, about half the 30% to 35% expected by Wall Street. Though blockbuster growth rates may be in the past, Schaff still believes the company can grow 20% to 25% annually after 1999. He expects SAP to get into the fast-growing middle-market sector, offering supply-chain and customer-relationship management software for vertical industries.

SAP is trading at around 46 times estimated 1999 earnings, expensive but "not as ridiculous as some other technology issues," he says. "I have a feeling I may be able to pick it up at a better price later in the year."

More information can be found at:

Advent Software

Online Investor

(Jan. 20)

Is a company that delivers portfolio management software for use on the Internet an Internet play? "That's probably a stretch," writes

Online Investor

. But impressive sales growth and the company's use of the Web show that

Advent Software


knows what customers want.

Advent's suite of integrated software programs helps institutional investors manage their portfolios, client relationships and trading activity. The company has licensed its software to 5,400 institutions and is expanding its client base and product lineup through acquisitions. Last year it acquired

Hub Data

, a distributor of consolidated securities information to investment managers. Advent will integrate Hub Data's services into its own products and offer the information over the Internet.

Analysts expect 31% earnings growth in 1999. Advent is trading at 38 times earnings. Though, according to

Online Investor

, such companies tend to trade at fairly high P/E ratios. One note of caution: Advent's customers are in the financial industry, which means that in a bull market, sales will be good, but they could crash if the market turns. Advent's growth however suggests the company "is establishing a solid position in the market for professional investment management software," says

Online Investor


More information can be found at: