August 5, 2003, 12:00 AM

Investors are still chasing riches in dot-com retailers, says Weiss Ratings

Shares of Internet-related companies jumped 73% in Q2, far out-performing the S&P 500, which was up 15.4%, Weiss Ratings reported today.

 

Shares of Internet-related companies jumped 73% in the second quarter, far out-performing the S&P; 500, which was up 15.4% in Q2, Weiss Ratings Inc., a provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks, reported today.

"Apparently investors` memories are very short--one would think the bursting of the Internet bubble would have had a more lasting effect than this," said David Lackey, president of Weiss Ratings. "Most of the Internet-related companies have yet to produce earnings, so what makes them good investments this time around?"

Among the 285 Internet-related stocks rated by Weiss, 243, or 85%, currently receive a D+ or lower Weiss Investment Rating. In retailing, Weiss particularly singled out online discount apparel seller Bluefly Inc., with an E- rating yet stock appreciation of 36.6% in the quarter, and online pharmacy Drugstore.com Inc., with an E rating and 52.5% stock appreciation. Retail services provider Barpoint.com Inc. got an E rating, while its stock was up 60%.

Weiss gave only four stocks a B- rating or higher. In retailing, only eBay Inc. rated that high, with a B rating. Its stock price was up 22% in the quarter.

"We think all Internet stocks are risky," says Roderick Powell, senior equities analyst at Weiss. "It`s just that some are riskier than others. People are getting a little bit ahead of themselves on these investments."

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