Can you tiptoe through the dot-com graveyard and scratch your head at the same time? No, not so much for the Internet companies that have gone the way of the dearly departed, but rather for those that are rocking today.

There hasn't been a remarkable uptick in flea market attendance or garage sales, yet eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) has flourished. Travel providers have yet to take off while online booking specialists such as InterActive's (NASDAQ:IACI) Expedia and Sabre's (NYSE:TSG) Travelocity are flying high. Book retailers have let out a yawn while Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has sounded a barbaric yawp.

So, it's equally fitting that as homebuilders and mortgage providers are riding the beneficial wave of rock-bottom borrowing costs, Homestore (NASDAQ:HOMS) posted yet another quarterly loss last night. Go figure. The Web-based real estate company reported a narrower third-quarter deficit, but it did so on lower revenues. Besides, it's 2003. Where's the profitability?

Yes, Homestore has whacked its hand pretty good over the years with the hammers of accounting irregularities and shady acquisitions, but it's a new batch of executives running the home show now. If Homestore isn't turning a profit now, how bad will things get once interest rates begin rising and the housing market starts to cool?

Then again, the way successful Internet companies have thrived despite their sluggish bricks-and-mortar sectors, maybe a little real estate adversity will do Homestore some good. Nope? I don't think so, either. Well, at least I wouldn't go betting the house on it.

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