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    2. Lycos Inc.

    By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff, 05/18/99

    nother hot Internet stock is that issued by Lycos, the Waltham-based Internet portal service. Its shares closed at 86 1/16 at the end of March, up from 221/8 a year earlier. And earlier this year shares traded above 130 on anticipation the portal would be purchased by another company for a high premium.

    As it turned out, Lycos shares plunged in February after the company announced plans to merge with elements of USA Networks Inc. in New York on terms that disappointed many short-term investors. The agreement was formally withdrawn this month after CMGI chief executive Davis Wetherell reversed himself and voiced opposition to it.

    Still, Lycos remains formidable under the leadership of chief executive Bob Davis, a former salesman for Wang. He spent 1998 on an acquisition spree that brought Lycos control of companies including Wired Ventures, the interactive units of the hot San Francisco magazine. In August it bought WhoWhere?, a people-finding service based in Mountain View, Calif.

    Davis's notion is to boost the number of different brands Lycos offers to consumers, much like the various General Motors nameplates. The strategy appears to be working so far: Last month the various Lycos brands were judged to have collectively received more visits from Web users than its archrival on the West Coast, Yahoo Inc.

    This story ran on page D18 of the Boston Globe on 05/18/99.
    © Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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