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Old 12-03-2007, 09:06 PM   #1
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Just curious if anybody knows what's going on with UNTD (united online).

Seems like it often nosedives then rallies, not sure if there's any real reason...


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Old 12-04-2007, 08:11 AM   #2
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I owned UNTD for a while. I would assume it is moving these days based on how investors think the Classmates IPO will perform.

On one hand, it's a nice little company with a cash generating business (dial-up Internet) that requires little investment so it has a lot of depreciation and little cap ex. Also, it has the Classmates and MyPoints which are growing revenues quickly. And it pays a nice dividend.

On the other hand, the dial-up business revenues are declining fast (they do offer branded DSL, but I doubt they make much on that) and the profitability on the media content businesses isn't very impressive -- the vast majority of the profits and cash flow are coming from the old dial-up business.

More generally, essentially requires a subscription to use it and with MySpace and Facebook out there that is not a winning model IMHO. They were early to the social networking game and established themselves as the premier class reunion site, but in retrospect they really blew it by not having free registration and going with an advertising model IMHO. Instead has recently had anemic (almost flat) subscriber growth -- especially when compared to the other free sites.

It has been a few months since I looked at UNTD though since I sold it back in the summertime to buy something else.

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Old 12-04-2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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Still own it. I agree with the comments on the classmates IPO.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:10 AM   #4
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BAD DAY FOR: Friendly IPOs, after United Online canned the planned spinoff of Classmates-dot-com, which would have been the first IPO of a social networking site. United cited a bad climate for IPOs, but analysts said that Classmates' business model -- both it and competitor Reunion-dot-com charge subscription fees -- make them less appealing than free sites like Facebook and MySpace.

(from Harold Maas column at Yahoo Finance)
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