Internet fever strikes London
Thursday 21 January 1999
Shares in a clutch of companies with varying degrees of exposure to the growth of Internet traffic and electronic commerce all basked in the glow. But analysts warned that valuations were in danger of becoming severely stretched.
Zergo, a supplier of Internet security software, saw its shares leap for a second day as it announced a clutch of new contracts and a strategic link with KPMG, the consultants. On Tuesday, Zergo unveiled partnerships with Intel, the computer chip giant, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"There is a growing awareness among investors of the potential we have as a company," said Henry Beker, the chief executive. Zergo shares closed up 65p at 767.5p.Two months ago they were below 200p.
The market value of Psion, the hand-held computer maker, rose 15 per cent on suggestions that Symbian, its joint venture to develop operating software for smart mobile phones, had signed up new partners.
A clutch of smaller companies, including Netcall, the computer telephony group and On-Line, the Internet gaming company, posted healthy gains. Shares in Internet service providers such as Internet Technology Group and Easynet also soared.
Market observers said a 75 per cent rise in profits from software giant Microsoft, revealed on Tuesday evening, was helping to feed investor appetites. They also pointed to the $6.7bn takeover of Excite, the Internet search engine company, by At Home, the supplier of high-speed Internet connections.
Analysts said UK investors were now looking at any company with Internet exposure. "This is all based on the valuation hysteria in the US making its way over here," one said. "It's a bubble that has to burst."
The euphoria even stretched to retailer Great Universal Stores as investors hunted for more liquid stocks that could act as a proxy for pure Internet companies, many of which are still relatively small and thinly traded. Although GUS has little exposure to the Internet at the moment, traders said electronic selling could replace much of the company's traditional catalogue retailing activities.
The value of Dixons, the electronics retailer, has already risen sharply on the back of its Freeserve Internet service.
- 1 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
- 5 Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...