Dueling Fools

Dueling Fools
August 04, 1999

CMGI Price (08/03/99): $81 7/8

It started out as a company selling college mailing lists. Then a Booklink Web browser sold to America Online (NYSE: AOL) changed all that, and CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) became a pioneer in Internet venture capital.

This week, two Fools can't come to terms on the future of CMGI. Rick Munarriz (TMF Edible) is positive. Bill Barker (TMF Max) is positive -- positive that he's a pessimist.

Whose venture will you choose? It will be your vote in the end. When you're done don't forget to check our Duel Flashback where we see who Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) ultimately excited.

You Get to Vote!

Once you've read the arguments and the rebuttals, it's your time to cast your vote. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Dueling Fools Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
So CMGI spent $6 million over the last three years in acquiring a stake in the growing GeoCities online community. It nurtured it. It watched it become a publicly traded powerhouse. Earlier this year Yahoo! bought out GeoCities -- valuing CMGI's piece at a cool billion dollars. That's what CMGI has done so well, over and over again, as the Internet's most successful incubator of young online companies.
The Bear...
Even granting that CMGI's essential business is designing, manufacturing, and selling the hottest commodity around -- shares of Internet IPOs -- there's one heck of a lot of ambitious and creative math that goes into valuing CMGI at anything approaching its current market capitalization of about $9 billion.

Results for last week's TheStreet.com Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Panic's Bull argument


TMF Braden's Bear argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame