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Re: Talking to Jim

On Sat, 2 Dec 1995, PeterWiltshire wrote:

> Gidday all
> I emailed Jim Clark day before yesterday about his comments re key escrow.

Uhhm, what is his email address??  

I'd love to ask him one or two questions, not just about key escrow, but
about Netscape's future prospects and its current stock valuation. 

(Netscape now has a market capitalization larger than Apple Computer.)

> He responded.  As it's not good form to post private email, might I suggest
> that one of the 'elders' here put to Jim a list of questions on the proviso
> that his answers can be posted to the list.  You never know, a lot of
> speculation might be confirmed or denied.

I've got some questions ...

Mathew Ingram, reported in the Investment Reporter that Jim has stock
holdings currently worth more than $1 Billion in Netscape, and yet Jim was
quoted as saying at a recent technology conference "you could argue
there's something of an Internet bubble developing."  The article also
quoted him as saying that if Netscape made a profit in the next year or
two it would only be "because we miscalculated." 

Miscalculated??  I'll say.

If he thinks that GAK will go down with great support, when they want to
split their stock, then they're really not quite aware of the mind of the
organization that they'll be up against. 

I wonder what people will have to say about Netscape, then. 

Right now, brokerage firm Hambrecht & Quist is estimating that in five
years the Internet will be a $23 Billion market -- equal to the size of
the _entire_ software industry today.  And a money manager at Franklin
Resources Inc. said, "some people are suggesting the big tech company in
the next century could be Netscape." 

Personally, I don't think so.  But then who am I??

Goldman Sachs just put Netscape on its "recommended" list.  And some
analyst called Michael Parekh was quoted as saying that Netscape could hit
$200 in the next two years.  That it was going to be the Microsoft of the
Internet -- dominating the software side of the World Wide Web.

I wonder if Parekh's valuation is a pre or post stock split evaluation. 

Shoot, if Parekh is talking about $200 post-split ... then Netscape could
well become a really big league play in this game far sooner than most
people think.  I'd love to hear how this fits with Jim's words of a

The market seems to "think" that it's a better present judge of what
Netscape has than he does.  It's almost as though the "market" has
developed a "mind" of its own.  It's own particular neural network.  It
doesn't seem like the market is paying attention to any of Jim's warnings
or words.  His "opinion" -- like all corporate officers opinions are
strongly discounted and very lightly weighted. 

It's almost as though there is automated software at work. 

Some people might think about going short against the box on this one.  

Although the article talked about a short "squeeze" which would generally
mean that this stock is going to go nowhere but up as the short sellers
try to cover, personally, I might start to take some money off the table
and not add anything to my position.  But all this depends on the depth of
someone's pockets, I guess.  And on some serious trading analysis. 

Then again, there is that old adage about never fighting the tape.  It's 
compared frequently to whizzing into the wind, I think.  Probabilities 
and such.

(Disclaimer:  This is not intended as and should not be considerred as
investment advice ... or for that matter as whizzing advice, either.)

I'd love to hear Jim talk some more about this. 

For me, all of this Netscape stuff is getting way too surreal.  It seems
really strange.  Some people are arguing that things are getting out of
hand, and yet it seems like this one is completely out of Jim's control. 

No one is listening to ANYTHING from Netscape at all.  The market is
simply listening to its own internal dialogue.  And that certainly is a
surprise to this writer.  It's a surprise to me, and it's probably a
surprise to Netscape.  Finance 501 is more complex than Finance 101. 

Maybe they should read up about the privatization of BP and the
involvement of the KIO.  Or learn a bit about Li Ka-Shing, or something
which adds to their knowledge base.  That might give some idea about what
is actually going on here. 

(Not that the Kuwaiti Investment Office or Li-Ka Shing has an interest in
this one.)

Alice de 'nonymous ...

                                  ...just another one of those...

P.S.  This post is in the public domain.
                  C.  S.  U.  M.  O.  C.  L.  U.  N.  E.