Was that you slurping down some warm java fuel as you braved the elements to join the 5 a.m. mob at your local department store? Doorbusters have become de rigueur on Black Friday. Whether it's the allure of paying $500 for a 32-inch LCD television, or the many other advertised bargains, it just doesn't feel like the holiday shopping season has begun until you get these "one morning only" specials.
Wall Street isn't so cruel. Many of the best deals out there will wait for you. Take your time. Do your due diligence. Odds are that the stocks will still be there for you at attractive prices.
I've decided to celebrate Black Friday by digging deep into the closeout bin of Internet companies. These four stocks are all trading for less than $10. At that price, you know you're not buying perfect companies, but I'll do my best to pick out the warts.
Let's go shopping!
Despite its West Coast moniker, Hollywood Media is an East Coast stagehound at heart. The company owns Broadway.com, the popular live event ticketing specialist, which has accounted for 84% of the company's revenues through the first nine months of the year.
The company also owns Hollywood.com, which is being done up as a movie portal, naturally. It's still a major part of the revenue mix here, even though ad sales are soaring for the company.
Warts? Well, disregard a recent asset sale, and the company is actually still in the red. However, the losses from continuing operations have been narrowing, and all three analysts following the company expect it to turn the corner and post a profit in 2007.
I've been so taken with the CNET story that I've recommended it twice to Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers. With more than 10 years under its belt as an Internet company with a strong editorial bent, you've probably come across many of CNET's properties, like News.com, Gamespot.com, and Download.com.
The empire is growing. CNET is rich in domain names, and it's begun moving to develop several of them, like TV.com, Kids.com, and MP3.com. Because of its reliance on IT ad spending, the delayed release of Windows Vista has stung the company, but that should remedy itself come 2007.
Warts? CNET was one of the many companies stung for stock-options backdating, and its growth has been slow lately. This past quarter, revenue rose just 13%, largely because of a decline in traffic at its Webshots.com photo-sharing site. That's why a profitable company like CNET is trading in the single digits, but those low prices may also spell opportunity.
As far as upscale e-tail goes, RedEnvelope.com should be in a better place. It's toiling in the lucrative luxury market, and it's got a marketable gimmick in its signature red boxes with ivory bows. In an ideal world, the packages would become as ubiquitous as a box from Tiffany
Warts? Tom Gardner had originally recommended the stock to Hidden Gems readers three years ago. Concerns over the company's inability to generate positive cash flow had him nimbly bowing out of the stock two years later.
The company is still not living up to its potential, but there are a few things I liked in its most recent quarterly report. Orders were up 13%, yet sales grew 18%, which means customers are spending more. As gravy, those sales are clocking in with higher gross margins. The red ink isn't pretty, though the one analyst putting out public projections expects the company to be in the black next year.
You have to go back to May 2000 to find the last time the pioneering online pharmacy traded in double digits. Even though I've never been a big fan of the company in the past, I'm starting to like the emerging trends at drugstore.com. Losses have been narrowing, even if investors will have to likely wait until 2008 for actual profits. Despite the red ink, the company has actually beaten analyst estimates for four consecutive quarters.
Warts? Despite billing itself as "the uncommon drugstore," this company doesn't have the most defensible of moats. Offline pharmacies are ramping up their online businesses, and competition will keep margins in check. However, that's pretty much what we said about Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Amazon.com
Deals are great, though buyers are best advised to shop around. Cheap prices sometimes get cheaper, and just because a stock can be had for less than $10 a share, that doesn't mean it's the steal of the century.
However, I'll stand by these picks. I'm cognizant of the warts. I believe that each company has what it takes to overcome those hurdles and appreciate in value accordingly. If not, hey, I'll be back with some more doorbuster bargains next holiday shopping season.
If you want a more detailed shopping guide to young stocks with disruptive technologies, join Rick and other Motley Fool Rule Breakers subscribers as they seek out ultimate growth stocks.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has spent way too many Friday mornings scoping out deals before dawn, but prefers to find the online bargains instead. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.