Wednesday, June 08, 2005

E.W Scripps discusses comparison shopping (SSP, SHOP)

After E.W Scripps' (ticker: SSP) announcement of its intention to purchase comparison shopping company Shopzilla (formerly Bizrate), CEO Ken Lowe and CFO Joe NeCastro hosted a conference call with analysts. Interesting reading, given eBay's (ticker: EBAY) prior announcement to acquire competitor Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP). Extracts:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on June 8, 2005 at 05:00 PM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chairman and Chief Product Officer of Shopzilla on Shopzilla vs Shopping.com (SHOP)

Farhad Mohit is the Chairman and Chief Product Officer of Shopzilla, a comparison shopping search service that competes with Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP). Here are his thoughts in response to Scripps-Shopzilla deal shows eBay-SHOP deal too cheap? (published yesterday morning on the The Internet Stock Blog) which argued that eBay (ticker: EBAY) may be forced to raise its bid for SHOP:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on June 8, 2005 at 12:02 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Scripps-Shopzilla deal shows eBay-SHOP deal too cheap?

Media company E.W. Scripps yesterday announced that it would purchase privately-held Shopzilla for $525 million in cash. Meanwhile, Shopping.com's (ticker: SHOP) stock yesterday traded above the $21 level at which eBay (ticker: EBAY) said it would acquire the company. Are the two related? Analysis and quick comments:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on June 7, 2005 at 08:51 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: CNET, ticker: EBAY, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IACI, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NYT, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Barron's likes eBay (EBAY, SHOP)

Barron's lead article this weekend was a detailed bull case by Eric Savitz for buying eBay's stock (ticker: EBAY). Key points and quick comments:

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Posted by David Jackson on June 6, 2005 at 12:01 AM in ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Is Amazon the loser from the EBAY-SHOP deal? (AMZN, EBAY, SHOP)

Yes. Here's why:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on June 2, 2005 at 03:13 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Shopping.com acquisiton a sign of eBay weakness? (SHOP, EBAY)

So says Pacific Growth Equities analyst Derek Brown in a note to clients today:

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Posted by David Jackson on June 2, 2005 at 02:35 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

eBay gets a good deal on Shopping.com? (EBAY and SHOP)

American Technology Research analyst David Edwards thinks that eBay (ticker: EBAY) is buying Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) at a 20% discount to fair value. He writes (in a note to clients):

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Posted by David Jackson on June 2, 2005 at 01:09 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Services, ticker: EBAY, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Shopping.com (SHOP) CEO on comparison shopping for hotel rooms and mortgages

Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) outgoing CEO Dan Ciporin made the following comments about hotel room and mortgage shopping search in an interview with Comparison Engines editor Brian Smith:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on May 25, 2005 at 12:01 AM in Sub-sector: E-finance, Sub-sector: Search, Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Search news/analysis in brief (AMZN, GOOG, SHOP, YHOO)

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on May 19, 2005 at 12:06 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: AMZN, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Internet news/analysis quick links

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Posted by David Jackson on May 11, 2005 at 12:01 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ET, ticker: GOOG, ticker: GRU, ticker: MCHX, ticker: MSFT, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 06, 2005

ValueClick discusses comparison shopping (1Q05 conf call quotes)

ValueClick (ticker: VCLK) CEO Jim Zarley discussed PriceRunner, the European comparison shopping business his company acquired. Standard & Poor's Equity Research analyst Scott Kessler asked Mr Zarley how PriceRunner would be differentiated from the competition once it enters the U.S. market. Here's Mr Zarley's response, and a couple of quick questions:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on May 6, 2005 at 12:30 PM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Sell-side reaction to SHOP's results

From American Technology Research analyst Mark Mahaney's note to clients about Shopping.com's (ticker: SHOP) results:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on April 29, 2005 at 12:01 AM in Earnings results, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Shopping.com down 10% after disappointing guidance (1Q05 earnings results)

Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) beat consensus revenue and (adjusted) EPS estimates for Q1, but disappointed the Street with below-consensus guidance for Q2 and the full year. Details and comments:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on April 28, 2005 at 01:28 PM in Earnings results, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Internet news/analysis in brief

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on April 19, 2005 at 01:23 AM in ticker: CNET, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Become.com launches, Shopping.com wins AOL France

Three developments in the comparison shopping space:

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Posted by David Jackson on April 12, 2005 at 04:18 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: CNET, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IACI, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Sell-side reaction to Shopping.com CEO change

Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Noto and AmTech Research analyst Mark Mahaney sent notes to clients interpreting Shopping.com's (ticker: SHOP) sudden and unexplained switch of CEO. Extracts:

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Posted by David Jackson on April 7, 2005 at 02:02 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What's happening at Shopping.com?

Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) issued an enigmatic press release immediately after market close announcing that CEO Dan Ciporin is being replaced by an existing board member, without providing any explanation. It also said the company will slightly exceed its guidance for Q1. The stock traded up $0.02 in late trading. Analysis:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on April 7, 2005 at 12:01 AM in Earnings results, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Internet news/analysis in brief

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on April 3, 2005 at 12:14 AM in ticker: FSTC, ticker: GOOG, ticker: GRU, ticker: IACI, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NTRT, ticker: RATE, ticker: RCOM, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TFSM, ticker: TWX, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Internet news/analysis in brief

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Posted by David Jackson on March 31, 2005 at 12:23 AM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FLWS, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IACI, ticker: KNOT, ticker: LOOK, ticker: NILE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Short interest jumps for FLWS, HOMS, LOOK and NILE

Short interest data is now available for Nasdaq stocks through March 15th. Short interest has rocketed for some internet stocks:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 30, 2005 at 10:25 AM in ticker: AMZN, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: CNET, ticker: EBAY, ticker: FLWS, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOMS, ticker: IACI, ticker: LOOK, ticker: NFLX, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 28, 2005

Business Week on secondary search plays

Following IAC's (ticker: IACI) announcement that it had agreed to acquire Ask Jeeves (ticker: ASKJ) last week, Business Week provides a list of other potential takeover targets:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 28, 2005 at 07:01 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: IACI, ticker: INSP, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Quotes from AmTech Research's SHOP "buy" initiation

American Technology Research analyst Mark Mahaney initiated coverage on Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) with a "buy" rating and a $24 price target. Key extracts from his note:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 24, 2005 at 04:34 PM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

IACI to purchase ASKJ, plus news/analysis in brief

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Posted by David Jackson on March 20, 2005 at 09:49 PM in ticker: AMTD, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: GSIC, ticker: IACI, ticker: MAMA, ticker: MNST, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: SHOP, ticker: UBET, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

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/Outlook, 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, March 16, 2005

Piper upgrades SHOP: "Valuation very attractive"

Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy upgraded Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) today. In a note to clients, he wrote:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 16, 2005 at 10:19 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Shopping.com (SHOP) to expand into hotels, Asia

Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) CEO Dan Ciporin gave a press conference in Israel (where the company has its R&D operation) which was written up by The Jerusalem Post. According to the article, he discussed Shopping.com's expansion plans, and added some new, and potentially significant details:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 15, 2005 at 09:10 AM in Sub-sector: Search, Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: IACI, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TWX, ticker: TZOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

With Internet IPOs ODMO and SHOP underwater, how cheap are they now?

Two recent Internet IPOs - Odimo (ticker: ODMO) and Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP) - are both trading below their IPO prices. With stronger balance sheets from the cash raised in the IPOs, where does that leave their valuations?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 9, 2005 at 09:45 AM in ticker: ODMO, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Search developments in brief

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Posted by David Jackson on March 8, 2005 at 07:52 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Are merchants leaving Shopping.com (SHOP)?

A comment posted on a message board by a Shopping.com merchant suggests that SHOP's recent price rise might be driving away business. Here's what he writes, and then three quick comments:

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Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 12:03 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The future of comparison shopping

Sean O'Rourke, author of the Organized Shopping Blog, writes his thougths and questions on the future of comparison shopping. This is a must-read for anyone interested in Shopping.com, Google's Froogle, Yahoo Shopping, MSN Shopping, and ValueClick's entry into comparison shopping. Here are his thoughts in full:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 08:52 AM in Sector Themes/Outlook, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Microsoft launches MSN Shopping beta

Microsoft launched the beta of MSN Shopping, with strengthened comparison shopping tools. Competitors: Yahoo! Shopping, Shopping.com, Google's Froogle and ValueClick. Microsoft's Andrew Ma asked for feedback, and Sean O'Rourke provided it, concluding that:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 12:03 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Friday, February 18, 2005

ValueClick (VCLK) on comparison shopping (quotes from the 4Q04 conf call)

ValueClick (ticker: VCLK) CEO JIm Zarley discusses his company's purchase of European comparison shopping engine PriceRunner and his plans for its expansion in 2005:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 18, 2005 at 10:50 AM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Wal-Mart.com catching up with Amazon and eBay

Nielsen/NetRatings reports latest traffic numbers for November/December:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 9, 2005 at 06:05 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: IACI, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ah! So this is why Shopping.com is entering the financial services vertical.

Bankrate made the following point on its Q4 earnings call:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 7, 2005 at 03:48 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

NY Times on Internet retailing

The NY Times has a perplexing survey of the Internet retailing stocks in its Sunday business section. The article, Is Online Retailing a Victim of Its Own Success?, argues that online retailing is growing fast, but the outlook for the stocks is uncertain.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 7, 2005 at 08:35 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Analysts react to Shopping.com results

Here's what the sell-side had to say about SHOP's results:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 4, 2005 at 04:12 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Shopping.com stock pummeled on cost of international expansion (4Q04 earnings)

Shopping.com beat Q1 adjusted EPS estimates, but 2005 revenue growth guidance was modest and the company outlined plans to increase spending on international expansion. Details and a few comments:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 4, 2005 at 03:43 PM in Earnings results, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Shopping.com confirms entry to financial services

Shopping.com confirmed that it will roll out comparison shopping for financial services in the first half of 2005.

Stock impact?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 4, 2005 at 03:28 PM in Sub-sector: E-finance, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Comparison shopping and Blue Nile (NILE)

Quick question: Since comparison shopping puts price pressure on broad e-commerce retailers like Amazon, will we see a similar phenomenon with online jewelry retailers like Blue Nile?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 28, 2005 at 11:00 AM in ticker: NILE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Kaufman hedges on Shopping.com

Kaufman Bros. analyst Mark May initiated coverage on Shopping.com with a "Buy" rating and a price target of $29. Here's what he has to say:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 24, 2005 at 11:30 AM in ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Bankrate.com doesn't rate

A recent review of Bankrate.com finds that it "did not turn up the best deals". Here are more details, and a quick thought on impending competition:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 24, 2005 at 10:30 AM in Sub-sector: E-finance, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

European e-shopping could favor ECST, NILE, OSTK, REDE more than AMZN, EBAY

The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that savy Europeans are taking advantage of their strong currencies by shopping from U.S. online retailers. The article mentions Amazon as a potential beneficiary. But here's a point to consider for investors in e-tail stocks:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 19, 2005 at 11:40 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IBUY, ticker: NILE, ticker: REDE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Are job listings an indicator of growth?

...because if they are, then Shopping.com is growing faster than Yahoo! Shopping and Froogle. (Well, we already knew that Froogle isn't doing as well as the other two because of its inferior functionality.) Here are the job listings numbers:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 17, 2005 at 12:02 AM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 14, 2005

IBuyDigital.com files for IPO and 5 reasons why YouMightNotBuyThis.com

Online consumer electronics retailer iBuyDigital.com just filed an S-1; underwriters are Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. and Oppenheimer and Co. The proposed ticker is IBUY. Here's a quick overview of the filing, five reasons why you should be careful of this IPO, and implications for other stocks including ECST, OSTK, SHOP, YHOO and GOOG.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 14, 2005 at 10:00 AM in ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IBUY, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Shopping.com data on most popular searches contains surprise

Shopping.com released its most popular shopping searches for 2004. Most of it is predictable geek stuff: iPod, digital camera, iPod, XBox, iPod, playstation, iPod, digital camera, iPod... you get the idea. (If you think this is bad, imagine how it will look next year when the iPod Shuffle is also available.) But there was one major surprise:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 14, 2005 at 12:18 AM in ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

SHOP price hike suggests increased profitability in Q2

Look at what just  cropped up on one of the Webmaster message boards. A merchant that advertises with Shopping.com just posted the following:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 13, 2005 at 12:41 PM in ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 10, 2005

PriceGrabber adds travel

Comparison shopping engine PriceGrabber has expanded into travel.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 10, 2005 at 12:37 AM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: CD, ticker: CTRP, ticker: IACI, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TSG, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Five Internet danger signs to watch for in 2005

The next few weeks will likely see a flurry of predictions for 2005, to the point where you'll be sick of reading them. So instead, I'm providing something which I hope will be more useful for investors in Internet stocks and managers of Internet companies: a checklist of danger signals for Internet investors to look out for next year. For each danger signal, I've specified which stocks will subsequently be at risk:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 30, 2004 at 11:03 PM in Sector Themes/Outlook, Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: E-finance, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: AMZN, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: BFLY, ticker: CNET, ticker: CTRP, ticker: EBAY, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOLL, ticker: IACI, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: NILE, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TSCM, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (4)

eCost-co?

Online retailer eCost announces this morning that it's launching a new membership club, Bargain Countdown Platinum, for $30 per year. Here's what you'll get: exclusive access to member-only products and pricing, a best-price guarantee, priority telephone support, and 10% off travel booked through eCost. Of note:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 30, 2004 at 09:19 AM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: ECST, ticker: IACI, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TZOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Home Depot entry to online appliance sales should help search and comparison shopping firms

Reuters reports that Home Depot has begun selling appliances online, with free shipping and a guarantee that prices will be the same as in its stores, with no regional variation. Home Depot has been slow to offer online sales of appliances. According to the Reuters story, Sears began offering appliances online in 1999 and Lowe's in 2000. Home Depot is now playing catch-up aggressively: its home page now features appliances, with the tag line "1,000s of Appliances - Now Available Online".

Of note to Internet investors:

  1. The purchase of high-priced appliances online will boost online retail numbers, but will likely come at the expense of purchases from physical stores.
  2. This is incrementally positive for search companies Google and Yahoo!, as demand for appliance-related key words (and probably their price) will rise as more companies enter the online market.
  3. The time and effort of comparison shopping makes greatest sense for large purchases. The expansion of the online appliance market is therefore incrementally positive for the comparison shopping businesses run by Google, Yahoo! and Shopping.com, as well as private companies Nextag, PriceGrabber and Shopzilla.

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

Posted by David Jackson on December 29, 2004 at 02:18 PM in Sector Themes/Outlook, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | 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 Themes/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)

Friday, December 24, 2004

Is Amazon being hurt by comparison shopping?

Since comparison shopping sites make it easy to find the best prices on a product, they'll drive traffic to the cheapest stores with the best service and reputations. Traffic to the comparison shopping sites is up sharply this year: Nextag reported a 70% increase in year over year traffic, Shopping.com announced that it expects revenues to rise by over 30% this quarter, and traffic to Yahoo! Shopping and Froogle are also strong.

So owners of Amazon stock need to know whether Amazon is benefitting or losing from this trend, particularly since comparison shopping is growing in popularity.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 24, 2004 at 01:58 AM in ticker: AMZN, ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

DoubleClick/Nielsen survey may imply comparison shopping surprise

DoubleClick released the results of a survey it commissioned from Nielsen / NetRatings. Yup, yet another online holiday shopping survey. So instead of summarizing the unsurprising results (online shopping is growing faster than offline shopping - dah!), here's the more interesting part:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 21, 2004 at 11:19 AM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: DCLK, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MAMA, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Click-fraud & the public Internet companies

Two recent Internet conferences (Majestic's and Jupiter's) highlighted the growing problem of click-fraud. Speakers described how companies are hiring other people to click repeatedly on pay-per-click ads from their competitors. But nobody mentioned that the problem is far more acute with public companies. In fact, individuals can directly impact the financial results of public companies without it costing them a penny.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 15, 2004 at 11:39 AM in Sector Themes/Outlook, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: ECST, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: LOOK, ticker: MAMA, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Why the buy-side doesn't understand Shopping.com (SHOP)

It looks as though Shopping.com will price tonight and begin trading tomorrow.  Shopping.com is the leading (and best) comparison-shopping service on the Internet; I own stock in it from my VC days.  What makes this IPO particularly interesting is that the buy-side doesn’t seem to understand the company.

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Posted by David Jackson on October 25, 2004 at 11:46 AM in ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Five quick thoughts on Shopping.com (SHOP)

Shopping.com is the fourth largest shopping site on the Internet and the best comparison shopping engine.  Yet the company stated in its IPO road show that only about 18% of Internet shoppers have used a comparison shopping service.  That has strong implications for a number of companies.  Here are five of them: 

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Posted by David Jackson on October 25, 2004 at 11:44 AM in ticker: SHOP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)