Internet News/Analysis In Brief (ADAM, AMZN, CNET, CWTR, GOOG, KEYN, MSFT, TSCM, TWX)

  • Visa Online Sales Data: Visa USA said that $205 million was spent Thanksgiving on e-commerce sales on Visa credit and debit cards, a year over year rise of 41%. (Via the WSJ; paid sub req'd.)
  • ADAM: Q3 earnings catch-up: educational and online health content provider ADAM Inc reported Q3 revenue up 19% to $2.8 million. Press release here.
  • AMZN: The December issue of Consumer Reports announces that Best Buy, Circuit City, and WalMart aren't the best places to buy electronics: "Those chains rated only middling to below average on price, selection, and service." Internet retailers (especially Amazon and J& fared far better.
  • CNET, TSCM, TWX: Harvard Business Review ex-editor Nicholas Carr argues that blogs will soon come to resemble traditional media companies. His argument, important for investors in online media stocks including CNET, and AOL, is analysed here.
  • CWTR: Online women's apparel catalog retailer Coldwater Creek reported Q3 results, and illustrated the shift from catalogs to the Internet as a sales channel. Online sales rose 21% but catalog sales fell 11%. Coldwater Creek's direct sales, which include both internet and catalog, account for almost 40% of its total sales, which rose 26%.
  • GOOG, MSFT: The success of Google's program to pay Web publishers $1 each time they get a user to download Firefox is not yet clear. At least one site, Explorer Destroyer, now offers scripts that generate pop-up windows to push the downloads and even allow webmasters to block Internet Explorer users. The imperative for Google to wean users off Internet Explorer is explained here.
  • KEYN: Neil Martin recommended Keynote Systems in this weekend's Barron's (paid sub req'd). At $12.50, he argues, the stock looks cheap because the company has $7 per share in cash, $2 per share in real estate, and trades at an enterprise value to sales ratio of about 2.2. It's also a potential take-over target, he thinks. Mr Martin questioned Jim Cramer's recent recommendation of the stock on Mad Money, however. Cramer argued that Keynote would benefit from the fraud investigation of Mercury Interactive. Keynote CEO Umang Gupta says that's unconvincing because the companies' businesses hardly overlap.

  • NWS, L: James Altucher, who writes's Internet Review newsletter, recommended News Corp's stock to readers. He cites recent traffic and user data for My Space, recently purchased by NWS: 24.2 million unique users in October, up 12% from September; 150,000 new users a day during the first half of November, up from about 100,000 a day last summer; 11.6 billion page views in October (up from 9 billion in September). My Space has displaced eBay as the fourth-busiest Internet site, and has twice the pageviews of Google (though fewer than Yahoo!, AOL and MSN. (The stats were originally cited in a Business Week article.) "However", Altucher writes, "...a stronger way to play News Corp. is to buy Liberty Media". According to this site, Liberty Media owns 17% of News Corp. Click on NWS chart to enlarge.