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Old 07-10-2005   #1
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SEM 50 Stock Index (Wall Street: Nasdaq, NYSE, AMEX, etc.)

I was trying to come up with an index of 50 stocks to start tracking that:
  • are the search engines themselves
  • are very involved with the search engine technology
  • are very involved in search engine marketing industry
  • or companies that believe so much in SEO/SEM that are RE-building their businesses around it (example: superpages.com)
  • other: ________ <- ideas welcome
I have not even gotten close to 50 stocks, this is what I have so far (listed in no particular order):

ACXM | Acxiom Corp
AMZN | Amazon.com, Inc.
AQNT | aQuantive, Inc.
ASKJ | Ask Jeeves, Inc.
GOOG | Google, Inc.
JUPM | Jupitermedia Corporation
MAMA | Mamma.com Inc.
MSFT | Microsoft Corp.
SHOP | Shopping.com Ltd.
VZ | Verizon Communications
YHOO | Yahoo! Inc.

Can you please help me fill in the gap to get to 50 stocks? Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2005   #2
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I don't think there's anywhere close to 50. It's the very hunger for "pure plays" and "sector plays" to "put money into" that has placed far more of a spotlight on companies like Mamma.com and LookSmart than they deserve. Most analysts would have companies like this firmly in "off the radar screen" territory. Otherwise they simply wouldn't be doing their jobs of treating investors fairly and professionally.

So you get a few stock promoters and newsletter writers writing about them, much as you have people who write books on how to play winning poker.

Whatever happened to the old notion that for a stock even to be worth considering as a growth stock, it needs to have a track record of consistent year-to-year earnings growth (5 years)?

Needless to say, many of these companies have never established that they can be in the black for more than the odd quarter here or there, let alone establishing a pattern. Google & Yahoo would be obvious exceptions.

Large diversified marketing and/or interactive agencies are interesting because they have a small search component, but how much exposure to search is the investor really getting?

One thing is for sure, everything in Silicon Valley is wildly overvalued most of the time -- that's because the average investor pays disproportionate attention to anything emanating from Silicon Valley. It's sexy, after all. There's nothing sexy about RV's, huge tunnels, engine parts, or chemicals (unless you want to turn a profit, of course).

I believe the Yellow Pages Group is publicly traded in Canada (as an "income trust" which has certain tax advantages). They are into search, but the majority of the income comes from the old yellow pages business. Should they be in the index? Well, if your criteria for what counts as a stock to put in your portfolio counts as a financially sound instrument that actually pays a dividend, yes. The only problem is, less than 5% of revenues derive from online search & advertising.

Some of the strongest plays, of course, like MSN Search, are buried within larger companies. Wonder if Microsoft might take MSN public someday? Might not be worth the added disclosure, even if they raised more cash than the property was worth, etc.
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Old 07-12-2005   #3
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Here's a couple that popped to mind to add to the list:
InfoSearch Media Inc (ISHM.OB)
ValueClick Inc (VCLK)
IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI)
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Old 07-29-2005   #4
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ACXM | Acxiom Corp
AMZN | Amazon.com, Inc.
AQNT | aQuantive, Inc.
ASKJ | Ask Jeeves, Inc.
GOOG | Google, Inc.
JUPM | Jupitermedia Corporation
MAMA | Mamma.com Inc.
MSFT | Microsoft Corp.
SHOP | Shopping.com Ltd.
VZ | Verizon Communications
YHOO | Yahoo! Inc.
InfoSearch Media Inc (ISHM.OB)
ValueClick Inc (VCLK)
IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI)

TWX | AOL / TimeWarner - owns a boatload of content and SingingFish media search. AOL also is doing stuff like mobile search.
THK | WebSourced, also owns many other web based businesses like online dating and affiliate software type sites
INSP | InfoSpace (does search directory and mobile technology...their stock was beat down recently due to lower projected foward earnings though)
Sina | Chinese search / portal
Sohu | Chinese search / portal
BIDU | Baidu Chinese search site...soon to be listed on Nasdaq
Miva | FindWhat + Espotting
MCHX | Marchex Ah-ha / Enhance
FAST.OL | Fast Search & Transfer... mostly enterprise search, but think Danny recently wrote they are also helping to power FindWhat
Look| LookSmart

can easily get to 25 from here...

observe how they spam the alphabet with a heavy weighting on the letter A
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Old 07-29-2005   #5
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A couple of points:

SHOP is being acquired by EBAY so you would remove it from the list while keeping EBAY, I guess.

MAMA - even Mark Cuban says "avoid" - see also yesterday's article on TheStreet.com: http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/mark...0235089_2.html
Probably too small for any basket or index anyway.

LOOK - no one's going to put a nearly-dead company in any kind of index.

I think you gotta scratch those off the list...

Good mention of FAST.OL. Although small, the latest earnings report is pretty impressive. Nice little success story there. A far cry from the wildly valued enterprise search plays like Autonomy. Looking at AU.L shares they are at $255. It has been hard to keep up with the boom and bust cycle of this company... it's also hard to slot them into search. They own a diversified portfolio of enterprise software plays, so I guess they aren't search. OTEX (Open Text) left search many years ago to become an enterprise intranet company, but they still do well and search is a big part of what they do. They'd be a better investment than most of the search pure plays (profitability, etc.), but lacking sexiness, no one talks about them.

I think what this is proving is that search is hard to isolate. Many diversified tech and advertising companies have a piece of the action. When you say "enterprise," "advertising," or "communication," at some level today you are overlapping with "search."

Last edited by andrewgoodman : 07-29-2005 at 02:32 PM. Reason: added FAST, AU, & OTEX mentions
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Old 08-03-2005   #6
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I guess after it profits from the sell off of SEW & SES, JUPM must be dropped from the list. "The purchaser is London Stock Exchange listed media company Incisive Media plc (INM.L)." So that goes up diversifying into international markets.
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Old 08-08-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seobook
BIDU | Baidu Chinese search site...soon to be listed on Nasdaq
Good news, bad news. When the IPO went from 27 to 144.51 last friday, these guys realized they had left so much more (potential) money on the table by pricing their IPO price wrong, making it the "biggest newcommer gain in 5 years".
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Old 08-15-2005   #8
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Don't forget Aegis Group (AGS.L @ London Stock Exchange), owner of well known SEM agencies like iProspect, Carat Interactive and Takezo (french sem agency).
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Old 09-07-2005   #9
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"LOOK - no one's going to put a nearly-dead company in any kind of index."

All considered they have some nice components. Didn't they just license their ad tech to Barry Diller's ASK?

If vertical search catches on and embraces their education niche they could catch some eyeballs. Findarticles is one of a kind and Furl.net is certainly a player in the social bookmarking field.
Recently they were mentioned as a takeover candidate by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp.
Not counting them out ........yet.

I did not see INCX on the lists above. Local.com is a sweet local search tool.

Last edited by Webvisitor : 09-07-2005 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 09-07-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlog
Don't forget Aegis Group (AGS.L @ London Stock Exchange), owner of well known SEM agencies like iProspect, Carat Interactive and Takezo (french sem agency).
Also, Digital Impact and SmartDM. Yikes! What a monster!
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Old 09-07-2005   #11
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Another way to look at stocks for the SEM 50 Index could be through potential buy outs from the big search engine players. For example:
ANSW | GURUNET CORPORATION - Gurunet Corporation, through its Web site, Answers.com, and its proprietary 1-Click Answers software, engages in the development and marketing of Answer.com, an Internet search engine.

TIVO | TIVO INC - Much speculation about Google could buy out TiVo to fit right in with Google Video since its experience with hardware is a bit limited to search technology.

MNST | Monster Worldwide, Inc. - With Yahoo! Jobs being a hot revenue source, why wouldn't Google buy out Monster? I think this is a possibility.
Any more lists Google, Yahoo!, MSN or ASK could add to their shopping list that are already public?
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Old 09-14-2005   #12
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OK, so a few must go and a few have been added. We have 28 stocks so far:

ACXM | Acxiom Corp | NASDAQ
AGS.L | Aegis Group | LSE
AMZN | Amazon.com, Inc. | NASDAQ
ANSW | GURUNET CORPORATION | NASDAQ
AQNT | aQuantive, Inc. | NASDAQ
BIDU | BAIDU.COM, INC. | Nasdaq
EBAY | | NASDAQ
FAST.OL | FAST SEARCH | Oslo
GOOG | Google, Inc. | Nasdaq
IACI | IAC/InterActiveCorp | NASDAQ
INCX | Interchange Corp | NASDAQ
INM.L | Incisive Media plc | LSE
INSP | InfoSpace Inc. | NASDAQ
ISHM.OB | InfoSearch Media Inc. | OTC BB
LOOK | LookSmart Ltd. | NASDAQ
MAMA | Mamma.com Inc. | NASDAQ
MCHX | Marchex Inc. | NASDAQ
MIVA | MIVA Inc. | NASDAQ
MNST | Monster Worldwide, Inc. | NASDAQ
MSFT | Microsoft Corp. | NASDAQ
SINA | Sina Corp. | NASDAQ
SOHU | Sohu.com Inc. | NASDAQ
THK | Think Partnership Inc. | AMEX
TIVO | TIVO INC | NASDAQ
TWX | Time Warner Inc. | NYSE
VCLK | ValueClick Inc | NASDAQ
VZ | Verizon Communications | NYSE: VZ
YHOO | Yahoo! Inc. | NASDAQ

Any others? We need 22 more to go. Are there any potential buys from search companies due to lack of technology or market reach because of being a specialty company? Any IPOs ready to roll?
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Old 09-14-2005   #13
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Ebay

Given that EBAY is the world's largest search advertiser, I think you have to include them as well. I would also include DTAS, as they're an online marketing agency that has moderate exposure to search. Then there's DRIV, who seems to be involved in search and online marketing on the part of its clients, as well as GSIC for the same reasons.

Last edited by shorebreak : 09-14-2005 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-14-2005   #14
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GeoLocation?

There are several, but perhaps most noteworthy is MapInfo (NASDAQ: MAPS), ESRI giants.

From www.MapInfo.com:
CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS:
One Global View
Troy, New York 12180
(518) 285-6000

COMPANY HISTORY:
Founded: 1986
Founders: Lazlo Bardos, Andrew Dressel, John Haller, Mike Marvin, Sean O’Sullivan,
Date public: 1994

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:
Stock Symbol: NASDAQ: MAPS

Fiscal Year 2004 (MapInfo’s fiscal year is October 1 – September 30)
Net Revenue: $124.7 Million
Earnings Per Share: $0.28

Employee Headcount: 830 (As of March 31, 2005)



SIGNIFICANT COMPANY ACQUISITIONS:

• 2005 MarkeTech Systems, Inc.(software, data and services for use by retail banks to enhance branch network sales and profitability)

• 2005 GeoBusiness Solutions Limited (location-based analytical and modeling services and software in the UK)

• 2004 Southbank Systems Limited (infrastructure management software and services solutions in the UK)

• 2003 Thompson Associates (retail market analytics and location-based business intelligence software)

• 2001 ERSIS (Australian distributor)

• 2000 Compusearch, Inc. (marketing segmentation and analysis solutions)

• 1998 On Target Mapping (telecommunications mapping data solutions)

• 1997 The Data Consultancy (market analysis and information products in the UK)

• 1996 SpatialWare technology from Unisys Corporation
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Old 09-14-2005   #15
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HOMS ?
(From Yahoo Finance; "The company operates in three segments: Media Services, Software, and Print. The Media Services segment provides marketing and Website solutions. This segment offers various services, such as classified advertising services that include enhanced listings, virtual tours, and online brochures; display advertising services that provide display advertising opportunities to individual real estate professionals; and directory listings that include directories of REALTORS, home builders, lenders, and self-service storage facilities.")
NTES
IVIL ?
FASRF.PK (FAST US listing)
CNET
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Old 09-14-2005   #16
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GeoLocation

Or maybe NavTeq (NYSE:NVT) since it's the basis of Google maps.
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Old 09-14-2005   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobayview
Or maybe NavTeq (NYSE:NVT) since it's the basis of Google maps.
Definetly a potential buy from the big boys!
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Old 09-15-2005   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
Any others? We need 22 more to go. Are there any potential buys from search companies due to lack of technology or market reach because of being a specialty company? Any IPOs ready to roll?
How about WSSI (WebSideStory)? Google did buy Urchin. Might be other web analytics firms that are writing tools specifically for the search engines.

-Rich
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Old 09-16-2005   #19
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In that case we would need to add:

NTIQ | NetIQ Corp. | Nasdaq - (Makers of WebTrends)
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Old 09-16-2005   #20
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Maybe Aptimus as well
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=APTM&d=t

again not a perfect fit as they do provide online advertising and marketing, but not exactly in pure search...

but we are exploring the edges after having caught all of the obvious ones, so i'll throw it out there.
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