IDC: Internet stocks to face more scrutiny in 2001

According to the research company's annual predictions report released today, the April 2000 internet crash has sobered investors and stock market analysts and it could be years before market euphoria drives internet stocks back to the high valuations seen last year.

According to IDC, last year's tech stock and IPO frenzy was driven by scarcity rather than the potential to create actual gains.

Although IDC predicted there will be less interest in internet stocks, the research company said there will still be start-ups and there will still be IPOs.

"But the criteria for investing and for taking them public will revert to the old rules," IDC clarified.

"Criteria like operating histories, consecutive quarters of profit, and long term fundamentals will apply once again."

Despite the expected drop in interest in internet stocks, IDC predicted that investment in e-business will not falter. New records will be set in different markets including wireless m-commerce, internet commerce and Web users and bricks and mortar companies will continue to drive e-business growth.

According to IDC, internet commerce in the Asia Pacific has the potential to generate over $18 billion and web users will exceed 59 million.

Other key findings in the IDC report include:

a predicted slowdown of markets in Southeast Asia and South Korea, driven by economic and political forces

continued hype around mobile commerce and internet connectivity

the application service provider (ASP) market will begin to gain ground, but will still be shrouded in more hype than reality

CRM applications and internet security solutions will be hot

Consolidation in the form of mergers and acquisitions will continue with cash starved dot coms, services firms and service providers all targets for acquisitions

IP Telephony revenues in Asia Pacific will double

Peer-to-Peer computing will become the new buzzword, but will face challenges especially from corporates.

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Luisa Bustos

PC World

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