February 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online retail stocks outperform broader market since first of year

The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index of 25 e-commerce stocks has increased 1.1% since Jan. 1, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 9.5% and the S&P 500 Index down 7.7%.

Since the first of the year, the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index of 25 e-commerce stocks has increased 1.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 9.5% and the S&P; 500 Index down 7.7%.

Leading the way among the e-commerce stocks tracked by the Online Retail Index is Interwoven, a provider of content management technology and site design services, whose stock price is up 27% for the year, through the market close on Wednesday. Other solid gainers are online retailers Amazon.com and VistaPrint, both up 25%, Netflix up 21% and Shutterfly ahead 18%.

The company that has taken the biggest hit is American Greetings, an online greeting cards retailer, which was down 33% as of Wednesday’s close. Online jeweler Bidz.com was down 26%, Drugstore.com down 19%, PetMed Express off 18% and RealNetworks down 17%.

The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index, which was introduced this week, tracks 25 publicly traded companies that derive a major share of their revenue from Internet retailing. The index includes 15 online retailers and 10 e-commerce technology vendors. InternetRetailer.com carries weekly reports on the variations in the index each Monday.

The Online Retail Index is equal weighted, which means the percentage variation of every stock has the same impact on the index. That way the index reflects the ups and downs in the stocks of smaller companies as well as those of e-commerce giants like Amazon.com and eBay. It also ensures that the index does not gyrate dramatically because of a big swing in any one stock.

The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: Akamai Technologies, Amazon.com Inc., American Greetings Corp., Art Technology Group Inc., Bidz.com Inc., Blue Nile Inc., CyberSource Corp., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., Drugstore.com Inc., eBay Inc., GSI Commerce Inc., Interwoven Inc., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Omniture Inc., Overstock.com Inc., PetMed Express Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., United Online Inc. (owner of FTD.com) and VistaPrint Ltd.

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