SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite all the warnings about valuations, earnings and volatility, Internet stocks have lost little of their luster. They remain the favored plays of daytraders and among the best performers in the technology sector.
In his weekly newsletter,
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
Internet analyst Keith Benjamin tackles the issue of whether Internet stocks are more or less risky today. Benjamin says that generally, "the Internet stocks move down faster than the broader averages, but recover faster and farther. In other words, the volatility has been generally worth the pain."
Benjamin goes on to say that he expects more "stronger, positive surprises in March quarter reports for Internet companies than for most technology companies," but cautions that during the current period, he is finding it "harder to find compelling trading reasons to buy more than a few stocks."
Among the companies Benjamin likes are
Lost in Thursday's announcement that
was entering a marketing agreement with
was that it was selling 6.5 million shares. Of the 6.5 million shares, eBay executives will sell 2.25 million shares.
Based on the company's estimate of 141 5/8 for the offering price, insiders will reap $318.7 million. eBay co-founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar will sell 790,000 shares and reap close to $112 million. He will still own 29.4% of the company, down from 31.2% previously. Jeffrey Skoll, vice president of strategic planning and analysis, has filed to sell 421,000 shares, which would be worth around $60 million, while President and CEO Margaret Whitman is expected to sell 211,000 shares worth about $30 million. Even the smallest seller, Michael Jacobson, general counsel for eBay, will be a multimillionaire: If he sells 25,000 of the 45,000 shares he owns, Jacobson will reap around $3.5 million.
But note that the sales are typical for follow-up offerings of Internet companies, as similar sales were seen in offerings by