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Ticker Talk

March 15, 2000|Times Staff, Bloomberg News

Wall Street brokerage analysts spoke up for several beaten-down stocks Tuesday, in the tech sector and elsewhere. Webvan Group Inc. (WBVN; $10.25, down 19 cents) and E-Stamp Corp. (ESTM; $11.38, up $1.19) were rated new "strong buy" by Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, both with $30 targets. Deutsche Banc also rated Gillette Co. (G; $30.13, down $1.75) new "strong buy," with a $36 target. And American Italian Pasta Co. (PLB; $18.38, up 38 cents) was raised to "strong buy" from "buy" by George K. Baum & Co., with a $35 target. Webvan has fallen this year by 38%, E-Stamp by 49%, Gillette by 27% and American Italian Pasta by 40%. . . . The Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress today will consider proposals that would require mutual fund companies to disclose their after-tax performance to investors. The SEC might propose a rule that would call for fund companies to disclose average returns after an investor pays income and capital gains taxes. The House Commerce Committee is due to vote on a similar measure introduced a year ago by Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). "The after-tax impact to investors is extremely significant, and we think it's important for them to have all the information available before making investment decisions," said a spokesman for Gillmor. . . . Nasdaq's pullback Tuesday didn't stop two initial public offerings from surging, as FairMarket Inc. (FAIM) gained $31.50 to $48.50 and RadVision Ltd. (RVSN) rose $33.94 to $55.94. Two other debuts fared more modestly, with Digitas Inc. (DTAS) up $5.50 to $29.50 and Lastminute.com (LMIN) up $6 to $36.

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