Internet stocks went crazy again last week.
The week's five hottest stocks in the Washington region included an Internet marketing company, a company that makes sense out of Internet transactions, a company that makes black boxes to speed Internet traffic and pair of computer software providers for Internet businesses.
The average local stock, in contrast, didn't do much of anything last week. The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index showed a gain of less than half a percentage point.
Setting the pace was LifeMinders.com Inc., which distributes by e-mail consumer newsletters, reminders of birthdays, anniversaries and other events -- all accompanied and paid for by advertising.
The Reston company's stock jumped to $35 a share from $21. LifeMinders went public Nov. 19 at $14 a share, jumped to $22.37 1/2 on the first day of trading, then went into a slow slide that showed the early signs of a flash-in-the-pan IPO. But the stock stabilized two weeks ago before taking off last week on a 70 percent run-up.
The heavyweight winner of the week was MicroStrategy Inc., the data-mining company that gleans patterns and personal preferences from haystacks of information. The stock, which three weeks ago topped $100 for the first time, passed $190 on Monday, bounced against the double-century mark for a couple of days, then blasted through to close the week at $231.31 1/4 a share. The stock is up 634 percent for the year.
Ciena Corp., which makes equipment that boosts the capacity of fiber-optic circuits carrying Internet traffic, took another leap after issuing its better-than-expected quarterly earnings report. Its stock gained nearly $12 Tuesday as part of a general run-up in Internet hardware stocks and added $10 more by Friday, closing at $71.87 1/2.
In almost any other week, the 49 percent gain of Information Resources Engineering Inc. or the 34 percent jump by Template Software Inc. would lead the regional stock list, but not last week. Both software companies attracted investors by targeting new products and services at the booming electronic-commerce markets.