Friday, March 18, 2005

Victims of pay-per-click ad inflation

The most striking theme that ran through the Q4 financial results of Internet companies, irrespective of size, was the impact of rising pay-per-click ad prices. The winners were the ad brokers - Google and Yahoo. The losers were companies that rely on advertising to attract traffic, as their marketing expenses grew faster than their revenues.

This is a critical theme for investors (rather than short-term traders). Do you own stocks in companies that are dependent on advertising and helpless in the face of rising costs? Here's a list of the victims, with the relevant stats and comments from The Internet Stock Blog's write-up of their Q4 results or recent SEC filings:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 18, 2005 at 10:25 AM in Sector Themes, ticker: AMZN, ticker: BFLY, ticker: DIET, ticker: DSCM, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: EELN, ticker: LGBT, ticker: MNST, ticker: NILE, ticker: ODMO, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: PRVD, ticker: SHOP, ticker: SPRK, ticker: TSCM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Another e-commerce stock tanks on guidance; this time it's Drugstore.com (DSCM) (4Q04 earnings)

Drugstore.com announced reasonably good Q4 earnings and the stock falls by 14%. Why?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 2, 2005 at 12:48 PM in Earnings results, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: DSCM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Were holiday online sales THAT good?

E-commerce stocks are up sharply today on the comScore prediction that holiday online sales will grow 28% year over year. Earlier, comScore and others were predicting online sales growth of 22-25%. So the stocks are moving:

  • Amazon up over 8%
  • Bluefly up 11%
  • Drugstore.com up 4%
  • Ecost up 9%
  • Overstock up 2%
  • Shopping.com up 6%

Yahoo!, eBay and Blue Nile aren't participating in this rally. But I wonder whether three percentage points of upside to the aggregate growth number (28% from 25%) is enough to justify the moves in the pure-play e-commerce stocks. After all, 28% growth is still below last year's growth rate of 30%, and offline retailers like Wal-Mart are taking market share online.

Full disclosure: at the time of writing I'm long SHOP.

Posted by David Jackson on December 27, 2004 at 01:40 PM in Sector Outlook, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: BFLY, ticker: DSCM, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: NILE, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)