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Silicon Saturday

A selection of some of the most intriguing tech stock ideas on the Web.

By David Landis
Special to


Red Herring


, publisher of 13 technology-oriented trade newspapers and magazines, filed for an initial public offering May 9, bringing to mind the stillborn IPO effort of another technology publisher,

Wired Ventures

. But don't dwell on the similaries, says

Red Herring

financial writer Ted Jackson.

Wired was a concept stock with no earnings to fall back on. When investors didn't buy the concept, Wired had to withdraw its IPO. CMP is an established competitor with a 20% to 25% share of a technology publishing market that has seen ad pages soar by 25% in the past five years. During the same period, CMP's revenue nearly doubled to $418 million.

But operating profit margins, around 7%, aren't nearly as impressive. And CMP's Internet spending -- it operates the


megasite -- could become a "financial black hole," Jackson warns. Still, he says, the stock is a pure play on technology print advertising and should roar out of the starting gate. (An offering date has not yet been announced.)

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(MANU) - Get Manchester United Ltd. Class A Report

, a dominant player in supply chain management software, has been riding high, and financial analyst Bill Schaff doesn't see an end in sight.

A money manager who runs

Bay Isle Financial Corp.

in San Francisco, he's bullish on the stock, even while conceding that pricing has become "speculative" (189 times last year's earnings). Manugistics controls almost 30% of the market for SCM software applications, which manage the flow of products from raw material through delivery to customers. The market for these applications is still young -- about $325 million annually, headed for $1 billion by 2000, according to

Gartner Group


First-quarter results were outstanding -- revenue up 85%, earnings per share up 80%, operating margins at 8.8% and rising. Schaff's earnings estimates are 97 cents for fiscal 1998 and $1.38 for fiscal 1999. "Given the first quarter," he says, "we may be light."

More information can be found at

Data Networking


This has not been a good year for networking stocks, as increased competition and declining margins have turned investors skittish. But there hasn't been a corresponding decline in the fundamentals of the sector, points out analyst Amar Senan of investment banker

Volpe Brown Whelan

in the latest issue of



As a result, "valuations have become much more attractive, and even the stocks of leading companies are trading well below their projected growth rates." Among the opportunities he spotlights are

TTI Team Telecom International



Objective Systems Integrators


, which offer network management solutions to telecom providers, and




Saville Systems


, maker of specialized hand-held travel computers that store travel information and databases of such things as golf courses and recreational vehicle campgrounds.

More than 2 million units have been sold, mostly through the


cable TV shopping network, but also through major electronics retailers, office superstores and specialty catalogers. After posting disappointing fourth-quarter earnings, Ultradata announced a deal with


(S) - Get SentinelOne Inc. Class A Report

to sell a customized version of its product, called Sears Pathfinder, in more than 800 stores. And an upgraded version of the company's flagship Road Whiz device, incorporating global positioning technology, is due in late 1997 with a price tag under $600.

Notes the newsletter: "The stock is trading at its 52-week low. This is the time to buy."

More information can be found at

Frank Barnako, the regular contributor of this feature, is on vacation.

The items presented above 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.

Previous Silicon Saturday Features

June 28.

June 21.

June 14.