Thursday, January 21, 1999

Those Wild & Wacky Internet Stocks

by K.W. Pastore

In their never-ending pursuit of profits and pocket-change, investors continue beating the bushes in their search for the next hot Internet stock. Perhaps it's time to review some high-profile corporate web-presences and their high-flying homepages.

This Fribble would first like to welcome General Magic (Nasdaq: GMGC) to the wonderful world of e-tailing. As of January 5th, GenMag has been offering subscriptions to its Portico product-line through its home page. In an innovative and magical merging of telecommunications media, the General Magicians will actually call you back over the telephone after you enter your general contact information on their magical Web page.

If you think your computer is hot enough to handle it, be sure to run the demo, "Closing the Deal," which shows off the advanced features of both General Magic's virtual assistant and Real Player 5.0. Will Mr. Mark Miller make a killing in the real estate market? Will he close the deal in time to make it to his daughter's baseball game? Will he crash his Volvo (Nasdaq: VOLVY) into a tree while retrieving his email through his portable phone while speeding all over town? Stay tuned for the next exciting installment.

Sure, General Magic has an Internet site. It's obligatory in its field. But have you stopped to consider the recent and renewed interest in the semiconductor suppliers might be a result of the Internet frenzy? Why not pay a visit to the online home of National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM)? In their infinite wisdom, National Semi management has decided to take advantage of the booming Internet market by selling company wares online. When you find yourself in need of a 9-Bit + Sign Digital Temperature Sensor and Thermal Window Comparator with Two-Wire Interface, the NSM website is the only place to go. Why, National Semi must be selling plenty of those things through its online distribution channel. When you get yours, be sure to specify item number LM77 -- it's the perfect gift for the person who has everything.

High-technology companies aren't the only ones who are busy jumping onto the Internet bandwagon. Even well-established Dow dogs such as J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) are selling their goods and services online. With a website like that, who knows how much more money it'll be able to make? As with all of the Internet issues, the sky is the limit! That's my theory. Go, JPM, go! Cyberdelic, baby -- yeah!

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) isn't late to the online marketing game, either. The company has its website, and it seems to have taken a tip from the savvy management at Volkswagen (OTC: VLKAY): it's painting all of its vehicles yellow. What color do you dig in, baby? Yeah! Speaking of digging, I think we should all dig deeply into margin and buy all of the hot new Internet stocks we can get our hands on before everybody else discovers them.

A note to the satirically impaired: This Fribble contains the use of sarcasm. I do not -- in reality -- condone the use of margined lines of credit to purchase stock in any company, especially wildly gyrating, thrashing, volatile issues with neither foreseeable earnings nor fundamental value. I do hold long positions in each of the securities mentioned above. But that doesn't mean you should.

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