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IPOs: The bubble bursts


The first half of the year was the best of times for any company with the Internet in its business plan. All it had to do was file for an initial public offering and watch as the public swooped in to buy. It didn?t matter whether you were "selling" search engines or news, there seemed to be an insatiable appetite for Internet stocks.

But the door closed abruptly in July. CNET was the last Internet-play of the season. One of the big losers was Wired, which tried twice to go public but failed to generate any serious interest.

This fall, IPOs managed to recapture some of their lost status as institutional investors came down with a bout of IPO fever. But this time brokers cautioned investors that the word Internet in a company's prospectus did not translate to instant profits.