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Sillicon valley stocks and St. Louis stocks

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Tech for Silicon valley and agriculture for St. Louis.

Silicon Valley Stocks
We went to Sillicon valley for the holidays and obviously, stock is one common topic in family reunion and friends gathering. Note stock options makes up a significant portion of employee’s compensations for some of the technology companies there.

I happened to read the San Jose Mercury News Jan 1, in which it has a nice summary of how Silicon valley stocks did in last year. In summary, the big tech (GOOG, AAPL) and IPOs (VMW, NetSuite) lead the Silicon valley stocks to a fairly good performance. Here are two articles I read: tech titan’s year; Valley’s big year for Wall St. debuts.

St. Louis stocks
I tried to look up St. Louis stocks 2007 performance at stltoday, the web site of St. Louis Post Dispatch, but could not find any. So I just list St. Louis companies I know.

I believe Monsanto (MON), one of the largest agriculture company in the world, is the No. 1 performer last year. MON is enjoying the global farm booming, and in a way the oil boom too. By the way, I live right across the street from the company. ADM and Bunge, another two agri play, also did well.

St. Charles based solar play MEMS (WFR) also faired well very amid the all the solar boom. Note WFR is a leader in this area.

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NetSuite IPO update

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It priced at $26, according to AP news.

I did NOT bid on NetSuite IPO eventually. Two things: it raised price range from initial 13-16 to 16-19; and I noticed NetSuite is not profitable so far. On the other hand, when its bigger rival, the on-demand software provider SalesForce (CRM) did IPO in 2004, it was about to turn profitable.

Don’t know the exact reason why the recent weak Mr. market valued it so high. I remember more than 3 years ago CRM was priced in mid teens range during IPO. I suspect the recent strong show of VMWare is one reason. Like the Baidu situation in 2005, it did IPO one year after the successful IPO of Google, people (who missed GOOG) bid up BIDU from the IPO price of $27, to openning price of $70. The night before IPO I was planning to buy it at $35, and get out at $42. My plan did not get executed because I was way too conservative 🙂

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NetSuite Open IPO

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(Update Dec 18) The company raised its IPO price range: now it’s between $16 and $19. I am NOT bidding it.

WR Hambrecht sent me an email about Open IPO. This got me to read its prospectus. NetSuite is a new kind of software company co-founded by Larry Ellison, the founder and chairman of Oracle. By new I meant they provide “software as service”, vs. the tradtional software companies such as Microsoft, in which a consumer buys product, install it, do some customization, and (possibly) run updates, etc. Quote its prospectus:

“NetSuite is a leading vendor of on-demand, integrated business management application suites for small and medium-sized businesses. We provide a comprehensive suite of enterprise resource planning, or ERP, customer relationship management, or CRM, and e-commerce capabilities that enables customers to manage their critical back-office, front-office and web operations in a single application…We deliver our suite over the Internet as a subscription service using the software-as-a-service or on-demand model. Our revenue has grown from $17.7 million in 2004 to $67.2 million in 2006. For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, we had revenue of $76.8 million. As of September 30, 2007, we had over 5,400 active customers…”

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