"Live" and Online

03/12/2004 12:00 am EST

Focus:

John Buckingham

Editor, The Prudent Speculator

Despite the advantages afforded to online businesses, it is often helpful for customers to have access to assistance, technical help, or service from a "live person". Two leading advisors- Jim Oberweis and John Buckingham-each have favorite stocks in this area.

Value investor John Buckingham, editor ofThe Prudent Speculator , says "Traffix (TRFX  NASDAQ) is a high yielding 'Cash is King' selection. The company is a direct marketing company that generates sales and targeted leads for its clients mainly from its online media properties, reported fourth quarter and full-year results earlier this week. The company owns a variety of websites including iMatchup.com, a popular on-line dating site, and ClickHelp, a live computer technical support service. Traffix also manages a database of millions of permission based online consumers. A recently announced deal to acquire LiveOntheNet, which provides live technical support for the home PC user, fits perfectly with the new strategy of owning more products and services, which the company can market through multiple media channels. The balance sheet is pristine. It shows a current ratio of seven to one, no debt, and almost $3 per share in cash and investments. Traffix also pays a massive $0.08 per share quarterly dividend, giving the company a current yield over 6%. While the stock has moved up more than 40% in price since we featured it last October, we believe the company is still undervalued and the shares remain on our buy list with a Fundamental Goal Price of $11 and a buy limit of $5.63.

One of the latest buy recommendations from small-cap stock expert Jim Oberweis, also offers "live" assistance to Internet operations. The editor of The Oberweis Report,  says, "LivePerson (LPSN NASDAQ) is a customer relationship management application (CRM) service provider (ASP) that delivers real-time customer service, sales, and marketing solutions for companies that conduct business online. LivePerson's services enable clients to communicate with Internet users in a variety of ways including text-based chat. The services are comprised of LivePerson Chat, which is a text-based chat service, and LivePerson Exchange, a combination of document management, e-mail, and FAQ services. LivePerson applications are hosted on servers that it manages. Thus, clients benefit from limited software requirements, no hardware installations, and minimum effort for upgrades. Revenue in the fourth quarter increased over 45% to $3.5 million from $2.4 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. Earnings per share grew to $.01 versus a loss in the same year-ago period. Clients of Oberweis Asset Management own approximately 430,000 shares. These shares may be appropriate for risk oriented investors."

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