What does it take to revive a fallen angel?
In the case of Manugistics Group Inc., a series of press releases about the company's expanded interest in the Internet was enough to push the long-depressed stock to its highest level since January.
Manugistics makes software that's used by big corporations to manage their inventories and run their businesses. Manugistics was a $60 stock until last May when the Rockville-based company missed its quarterly earnings target and failed to meet them in subsequent quarters.
With the stock up past $12 for the first time in weeks, Manugistics shareholders aren't exactly in heaven, but it beats the heck out of the $6 level where the stock bottomed out early this spring.
An announcement early in the week that the shoe and sportswear maker Timberland Co. would use new Manugistics systems to link up with suppliers and stores started the stock moving. Then came word that Manugistics was adopting its systems, which are now used primarily for internal management purposes, for Internet electronic commerce.
Dulles-based America Online Inc. got back on the winners list after an uncharacteristic appearance as a big loser during the Internet stock slump the previous week. The bounce added $12.50 to AOL stock over the last five days. Analysts continue to cite AOL as one of the tech stocks investors ought to own as they weed out the best of the Net from the rest of the pack.
Circuit City Stores Inc.'s stock climbed another $10 after the Richmond retailer pulled the plug on Divx -- the pay-per-view digital video disc system it had bankrolled. Circuit City lost more than $200 million on Divx, but investors were so happy to see the losses staunched that they bid the shares up to a 52-week high of $91.25 on Thursday. Profit-takers took it down by $1.50 a share on Friday.
At the opposite end of the scale, Allied Research Corp. of Vienna proved you can't win for losing. The munitions maker defeated a proxy fight by the investors who own the Colt firearms company and were trying to oust Allied's board of directors. Investors may have voted for the management at the annual meeting, but they voted at the brokers' offices last week, driving the stock down from $7 a share to $5.75.