Netscape stock wakes up

It's been nearly two months since Netscape Communications' stock has shown signs of life, jumping nearly 9 percent in trading.

2 min read
It's been nearly two months since Netscape Communications' (NSCP) stock showed the signs of life it did yesterday.

The Internet software maker's stock jumped nearly 9 percent in early trading yesterday, to 17-1/2, up 1-7/16 from Tuesday's close of 16-1/16--a boost the likes of which hasn't been seen since February. Netscape shares rose again today, closing at 17-1/8, up 5/16 over yesterday.

No company news or analyst remarks inspired the hike, although the Nasdaq climbed nearly 18 points in early trading, a factor that one analyst said could have contributed to Netscape's lift.

"Things are bouncing back in general," said Greg Vogel, an analyst with NationsBanc Montgomery Securities. Wednesday, the Nasdaq fell 30 points as some investors cashed in their profits from the recent run-up in technology stocks. "There is also anticipation of [Netscape's] earnings."

Vogel said it will be interesting to see how much revenue comes from the company's Web site, noting that perhaps close to one-third of the current quarter's revenue could be attributed to it--a higher percentage than in the most recent quarter.

"But overall, revenue should fall off because [the company is now] giving browsers away for free," he added. "This is a bit of a transition quarter. We are more interested in what the outlook looks like."

In an effort to get its software out to the masses, with an equal measure of success as when it decided to give away its browser software free, Netscape's vice president of products Marc Andreessen said the company would develop software servers for Linux, a free Unix-based operating system that runs on PCs.

Andreessen said Linux is likely to be just as important a platform for the company's SuiteSpot server software as other, more commercially accepted Unix systems.