October 1, 2010, 9:19 AM

E-commerce stocks advance 13% in the third quarter

Netflix led the way with a 49% gain, followed by Amazon at nearly 44%.

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Investors snapped up the shares of e-retail heavyweights like Netflix Inc.,  No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and No. 1 Amazon.com Inc. in the third quarter. Shares in both companies rose more than 40% during Q3, helping to boost the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index by 13.3% in the quarter ended yesterday.

While the index of 25 online retailers and e-commerce technology providers registered a solid gain, there were some big losers in the quarter, including e-retailers drugstore.com Inc., No. 46 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Vitacost.com Inc., No. 80.

The Online Retail Index outperformed the broader stock market in the quarter, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 10.4% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index moved up 10.7% in the three-month period.

Here are the best-performing stocks in Q3 in the Online Retail Index and the gain in stock price for each:

Netflix, 49.3%

• Amazon, 43.8%

• Digital River, 42.4%

•DemandTec, 39.4%

• U.S. Auto Parts Network, 36.7%

Here are the Online Retail Index stocks that performed least well in the third quarter and the percentage decline in stock price for the week:

Drugstore.com, -37.7%

Vitacost, -33.2%

• VistaPrint, -18.6%

• Systemax, 18.5%

• NutriSystem, 16.1%

The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., Akamai Technologies, Amazon.com Inc., American Greetings Corp., Art Technology Group Inc., Bidz.com Inc., Blue Nile Inc., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., Drugstore.com Inc., eBay Inc., GSI Commerce Inc., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Overstock.com Inc., PetMed Express Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Network, United Online Inc. (owner of FTD.com), Vitacost.com Inc. and VistaPrint Ltd.

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