Forbes.com, the online initiative of Forbes
magazine, includes Youbet.com on a list of five fast-growing technology companies with uncertain futures.
In an introduction to its "Five That Could Dive" list, Forbes.com notes: "Being one of the country's 100 fastest-growing companies is a nice place to be, even if analysts rate your chances of surviving the ramp as less than good."
In the analysis of Youbet, it was noted that the company's fiscal year 2001 revenue growth is estimated to be 419%, following a whopping 340% estimated revenue gain in fiscal year 2000.
"Youbet.com is still a big gamble," Forbes.com's Michelle Jeffers reported. "The online wagering service for horse racing has yet to meet The Street's early expectations on subscriiber growth, revenues, and profitability, say analysts. Its main problem? The questionable legality of online betting. Youbet.com considers itself only a transmission service, sending the bets to a legal betting facility, but that remains open to legal debate, which may account for why the company has attracted only 16,000 active subscribers in the past 18 months."
Forbes.com reported that analysts believe Youbet.com's chances of success will improve if its subscriber base spikes to the 30,000 level. That would make the company "cash-flow positive," the report said. "Its odds for survival could get even better if Youbet.com's planned expansion into wagering on other sports doesn't crap out," Forbes.com reported.
Joining Youbet.com on the Forbes.com list are Ask Jeeves, an Internet search engine; Eprise, which helps businesses manage their Websites; FutureLink, an application service provider; and FairMarket, which hosts and aggregates auction sites.
Forbes.com notes that the five companies on the list last year are still in business, with the exception of Voyager.net, which was acquired by a larger telecommunications company.
According to Quicken.com, Youbet.com is trading on the NASDAQ at $0.50 per share, down slightly from Tuesday's closing price.