Sunday, November 27, 2011

Internet Stocks: Bubble? What Bubble?

"The reports of my death are a bit exaggerated", joked once Mark Twain. This reminds me of recent reports about the state of the Internet stocks. "The Tech Bubble Just Popped" titled "Gawker", a popular newsmagazine/blog ( The "New York Times" (dealbook.nytimes) and "The Wall Street Journal" ( had similar articles.

Indeed the shares of Groupon tanked around 30% last week and Linkedin plumped 15%. Netflix imploded around 75% since July. Even well established Internet companies got caught in the selling panic: Last week Google dropped 6%, Ebay lost 11% and tumbled 16%.

I guess the mentioned articles and the sell out are just mirrors of the general hysteria and fear on the markets. Funds and other short sighted speculators are panicking now. These speculators react like lemmings and are dumping everything which seems to be risky. This is a typical herding behavior we experience very often in scary times. Internet stocks, which are usually more volatile than the whole stock market, are just the scape goats of the general paranoia.

The dumping of the whole Internet sector doesn`t have anything to do with the reality. The Internet industry is doing way better than the whole economy, which is still solid (proven for instance by rising retail sales, a climbing industrial production and the shrinking weekly jobless claims).

It is typical for the general climate of neglect that media & market players are completely ignoring the perspectives of the Internet now. The World Wide Web is still in an infancy stage of its evolution. Many more technological innovations and enabling capabilities such as payments platforms are likely to emerge, while the ability to connect many more people and things and engage them more deeply will continue to expand exponentially, claims a recent report by McKinsey (mckinsey).

And: Intel expects that over the next five years 1 billion more people will join the global online community with 15 billion connected devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets, embedded devices, and smart TVs (drivebycuriosity). The Internet sector will benefit from the falling price for these devices, thanks to the technological progress, and from the globalization. The numbers of Internet users in China, Brazil and other emerging markets already are exploding.

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