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Netscape Soars, Then Takes a Tumble

Investors who made a tidy profit and bailed out of Netscape early were kicking themselves last night, but may be congratulating themselves this morning. The stock gained another 21 1/2 points yesterday, closing at $171 per share, but in early trading today it fell 19 points.

Analysts have been warning investors since the company's stock more than doubled the first day it went public in August that Netscape's extraordinary performance is a fluke, driven by the hype surrounding Net-related stocks. Everyone has been waiting for the spell to be broken, but Netscape's enchantment has lingered until now.

The magic has rubbed off on other high-tech offerings, but Netscape's staying power is unrivaled. A case in point is Pixar, the company who did the computer animation for the hit film Toy Story. In a stunning public debut on November 29, Pixar's stock shot up to 39, but enthusiasm soon waned. Pixar was down another 5 3/4 points yesterday closing at 28 1/2.