Pundits Say the Darndest Things

Sergio Non, ZD Interactive Investor

Upshot: Some stocks got downgraded. So what?

The Facts: Shares of SBC Communications, Bell Atlantic and Bell-takeover-target GTE slipped on Wednesday after PaineWebber downgraded the stocks.

The Theories: Stock boards whispered "conspiracy," alleging a plot to let PaineWebber's clients buy in on the cheap. Maybe, or perhaps the analyst turned chilly over the companies' glacier-like rollouts of digital subscriber lines.

Don't Shoot the Messenger: Analyst reports are just opinions. Forget about 'em.

If you want to get ticked off at someone, "[c]ast your aspersions on the sheep who believe them."

David Futrelle, Money.com

Upshot: Playboy.com stands a real chance for profits, but so far no one cares about its IPO.

Smut Appeal: With stock quotes, columns on booze and smokes, and oh yeah, naked babes, Playboy.com's as close to a sure thing as e-commerce has got.

Naked, Schmaked: Stock junkies are more worked up about CNBC's Joe Kernan making the mag's best-dressed list.

Geeks Rule: To land the daytrader crowd, Playboy.com should dropkick its idea to become "the ultimate source of fun on college campuses" and get started on a Girls of Linux pictorial.

Margaret Popper, Business Week Online

Upshot: Adults don't get the untapped value in the online toy sales sector.

Media Metrix Sez: For the week ended Dec. 5, visits to toy sites shot up 42 percent from a week earlier and 68 percent from a year earlier. Through the holiday season, the Big Three - eToys, Toysrus and KBKids - stayed in the top 10 of all sites.

Now That Hurts: EToys messed up its holiday orders, and SmarterKids.com sells educational toys.

Reality Bites: The market hates eToys, and it loathes SmarterKids.com.

Why Aren't Web Toy Stocks Playing Well with Investors? Business Week Online

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