Tech Industry

Stock market chaos helps Infoseek

Analysts find no explanation for Infoseek's 16 percent gain other than the market's volatility and the stock's low price.

Despite an analyst's neutral rating and the downward trend of the indexes, Infoseek's (SEEK) stock gained over 16 percent in early trading.

The stock was at 5-1/4 in early trading today, up 3/4 from Friday's close of 4-1/2.

Analysts could offer no explanation other than the market's volatility and the stock's low price.

Shaun Andrikopoulos, an analyst with Alex. Brown, said the movement is normal for a stock that is trading so low. He added that it's not uncommon for stocks with low prices to trade within a 20 percent margin over any given day.

Over 400,000 shares of Infoseek traded hands by 9 a.m (PT). Over the past two months, the company has seen its heaviest trading since it jumped into the public realm last June.

Infoseek is expected to report its third-quarter earnings on July 15; analysts predict the company will report a loss of 15 cents a share, according to First Call.

This morning, Andrea Williams, an analyst at Volpe Brown Whelan, initiated coverage on Infoseek with a "neutral" rating and picked up competitor Lycos (LCOS) with a "buy" rating.

Lycos gained almost 6 percent in early trading, moving to 13-3/8 from Friday's close of 12-5/8.

Williams said Infoseek appears to be the fourth-place Internet navigational services company based on its weak brand and limited distribution capabilities. She said Infoseek may find it increasingly difficult to grow its user and advertising base in the face of competition from Yahoo (YHOO) and Excite (XCIT).

Infoseek's new management team has the potential to stimulate the company's earnings, but near- and long-term challenges facing the company warrant "a more cautious, wait-and-see approach," Williams added. She said the company's management has not yet settled on a strategic direction for the company and that the turnover has impacted day-to-day operations by pulling on the company's momentum.

In morning trading, Yahoo dropped 2-1/16 from Friday's close of 34-1/2, while Excite gained 5/16 to 14-5/8.