Shares of Netrix Corp. of Herndon continued to climb for the third week in a row, driven by speculation that the company can cash in on the potential for routing telephone calls over the Internet.
Netrix stock, which was in the $3 range a month ago, jumped from $7.25 to $12.50 a share, an all-time high. More than 8.8 million shares were traded during the week, about eight times the average volume.
Netrix, which makes communications networking equipment, has announced plans to merge with OpenROUTE Networks Inc., a small Massachusetts company whose business is closely related. The two claim their combined expertise will make them a player in the voice-over Internet business.
Individual traders who specialize in small technology stocks have discovered the pair, setting off the sort of speculative trading frenzy that can stampede any thinly traded stock. OpenROUTE's shares have been driven from $3 to $12.
Much the same thing has happened to V-One Corp., a Germantown producer of computer security systems that was proclaimed a "one-day wonder" Friday by New York Times columnist Floyd Norris.
Actually, V-One is more of a week-long phenomenon. Though it shows up as the week's second-biggest winner, on a percentage basis, it was far and away the biggest percentage loser of the week for investors whose timing was not so good.
Trading for $3.56 1/4 at the end of Monday, V-One jumped to $13.50 on Tuesday, then lost half its value the next day when it dropped to $6.93 3/4. Caught in a struggle between short-sellers who think the stock -- also a regular in the $3 range -- is way overpriced and speculators who want it to go up, the stock struggled through the rest of the week to close at $6.96 7/8.
V-One has had its day before -- doubling during a similar frenzy last summer -- but has yet to post any financial results to justify the speculation.
The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index, which represents shares of more than 200 companies based in the District, Maryland and Virginia, ended the week up about 0.5 percent. Much of the gain came Friday when the Nasdaq composite index hit another record high.