SAN FRANCISCO -- Seems like there's no stopping Internet stocks. A couple of days ago when Net stocks nosedived, there were concerns about valuations and talk of a big potential correction in the sector. Instead, this setback, like others before, became a buying opportunity, and Net stocks have roared back the past two sessions.
Derek Brown, analyst with
Volpe Brown Whelan
, said it's important for investors to look at the companies' fundamentals and to view losses from broader market conditions as opportunities to get in.
"What I've been focused on for some time is the fundamentals of a company on a company-by-company basis: which companies are acquiring customers cost-effectively, which are growing in the market share they're in, which companies are likely to exceed expectations," he said.
Among the stocks he mentioned are a number of Net bellwethers, including
. Of those, Volpe Brown Whelan has done underwriting only for CNet.
Brown said valuations of the Net stocks are a concern, but the future of the industry is promising.
"It does bother me, but valuation in this industry has been a concern for the 2 1/2 years I've been involved in it," he said. "In that time, they've gone from high to extremely high, but I think there's a bigger phenomenon, and that's a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that needs to be recognized."
Among the top Internet performers today is
, the company that invests in fledgling Internet companies. It was up 33, or 16%, at 239.
is also among the top point-gainers, up 16, or 22%, at 89 7/8. According to
, the Lycos Network attracted more visitors to its sites in March than did Yahoo! Lycos had a 51.8% audience reach and 31.9 million unique visitors in March vs. Yahoo!'s 50.8% audience reach and 31.3 million unique visitors.
Also back in the news is
. The company said it added an online auction section to its
Web site. Besides featuring music, the site includes collectibles, computers, sporting goods, toys and software. It was trading up 1 3/16, or 15%, at 9 7/16.
Online brokerages continued to surge today, though
online trading site has been having problems again. Customers were delayed from accessing certain areas of the site. The stock was up 10 1/8, or 9.5%, at 116 7/8.
, which got brokerage stocks back on track with a stellar earnings report Tuesday, was up 11 3/16, or 12.5%, at 101.
was up 16 3/8, or 15%, at 127 1/2.
Good News for Semiconductor Equipment Stocks
Semiconductor equipment stocks are getting a boost from a couple of positive reports.
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
reported that orders for chipmaking tools rose to $1.15 billion in March, which was a 14% increase over February. Also, the book-to-bill ratio for the industry was at 1.30 vs. 1.21 in February.
After the book-to-bill ratio's release,
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
upped its rating on the industry to buy from market perform and raised ratings on
to buy from market perform. Teradyne was up 4 15/16, or 9%, at 58 7/16, while Credence Systems was up 4 1/4, or 17%, at 29 3/8.
was up 9 3/16, or 19%, at 57 1/16.
was up 6, or 12%, at 56 and
was up 3 5/16, or 12%, at 31 3/8.
Also on the rise were
, up 4 1/4, or 10%, at 46 5/8;
, up 1 3/4, or 11%, at 18 1/4;
, up 5 1/2, or 13%, at 48 1/2; and
, up 3, or 12%, at 27 1/2.