5 Internet Stocks Under $5

It's earnings season, and that means even low-priced companies are stepping up to report their financials.

The stages are smaller. The spotlights are dimmer. None of these five stocks may merit stand-alone stories -- not even the former newsletter recommendation in the bunch -- but I've decided to lump them together because it's important to keep up with the dot-com industry.

Let's go over five of the Internet companies that have intrigued me in the past, to find out what they're up to in the present.

Move (Nasdaq: MOVE  ) -- $3.14
The parent company of Realtor.com isn't doing as badly as you may think for a company that, well, happens to be Realtor.com's daddy. The company's real estate-based websites haven't faded in popularity. Traffic is actually up by 15% over the past year, with the company attracting 9.8 million unique monthly visitors.

Revenue is inching slightly higher, though Move did post a small loss during last week's quarterly report. Yes, Move is obviously not going to be immune from the weakness in the residential housing market. Still, it's good to see the company hang in there.

Hollywood Media (Nasdaq: HOLL  ) -- $2.41
What's in a name? Not much if you're Hollywood Media. Yes, the company owns movie portal Hollywood.com. It also has a 26% stake in the popular virtual box office website MovieTickets.com. However, the show's the thing at Hollywood, as live-event ticketing through Broadway.com (in New York) and Theatre.com (in London) accounts for 89% of the company's revenue mix.

Yesterday's quarterly report was another clunker. Anemic top-line gains and small losses have become repeat performances at Hollywood. However, the company's ticketing business is actually quite profitable on an EBITDA basis. It's the deficits of the company's ad sales division that keep bringing down the red curtain before it's time.

Profitability is at least two years away, according to the lone analyst following the stock, who sees losses narrowing next year. But that gives the company the opportunity to give its ticketing business a stage to shine upon and surprise the cynics before then.

HouseValues (Nasdaq: SOLD  ) -- $2.62
If there's a single number that you can take out of HouseValues' quarterly report it's $2.57 a share. That is how much cash the company is packing on its balance sheet. It is also essentially where the stock is trading right now.

In other words, investors are getting HouseValues for free right now. There are strings attached, of course. Revenue has plummeted and net profits have turned into net losses. The company has cut expenses and reduced exposure to its flawed namesake model through moves like acquiring Realty Generator last year and beefing up its JustListed.com and HomePages.com sites to find new ways to generate leads.

I'm still not sold on the company's turnaround prospects, but as long as the company is able to protect its greenbacks through the residential real estate malaise, it appears to be bottoming out.

Local.com (Nasdaq: LOCM  ) -- $4.23
Search engines big and small have rallied around local search, so it's only fitting to check on Local.com to read the niche's pulse. Last week's quarterly report was solid, with Local.com posting a narrower loss as revenue exploded 81% higher.

This isn't just a matter of Local.com's local search marketing ways gaining a bigger audience, though that is certainly happening. The real driver here is that Local.com is getting better at milking more revenue out of every visitor. Revenue per visitor soared 66% during the period, a testament to both the company's improving monetization skills as well as the attractiveness for small, local advertisers to tap cyberspace for direct leads.

Jupitermedia (Nasdaq: JUPM  ) -- $2.25
Like the planet that lends Jupitermedia its name, the shares appear so far away these days. The stock has been reeling since buyout talks broke down last year with potential buyer Getty Images (NYSE: GYI  ) .

Both the planet and the company have a great red spot, too. For Jupitermedia, that came in last week's report, when the company posted a loss on a small top-line downtick. It's only the second time in nearly five years that the company has announced a quarterly deficit. Jupitermedia expects to post another small loss during the current quarter.

That is certainly not a welcome sight. The company's images business is still strong, though it has also beefed up its industry-specific sites with moves like acquiring MediaBistro last year. Investors may want to wait for profitability to show its familiar head again at Jupitermedia, though you have to wonder if, even ankle-deep in deficits, the company would make a compelling buyout target at today's price.

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