SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet stocks are heating up again, just as Twitter is preparing to turn up the temperature with its highly anticipated IPO.
Consider what's happened in the past month: The once-scorned stocks of Netflix and Facebook have soared to new highs; Yahoo's long-languishing stock has regained its vigor and surpassed $34 for the first time in nearly six years; enamored investors just poured more than $1.7 billion into secondary stock offerings by LinkedIn and Pandora Media; and Priceline.com's stock recently broke $1,000, catapulting past its peak reached in 1999 during the dot-com boom.
"There is great demand right now to invest in companies that could be powering the future, but it's a window of opportunity that won't last forever," BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis said.
Twitter couldn't have chosen a better moment to join the party. The timing proved to be ideal for recent IPOs by Rocket Fuel, a Redwood City company that uses artificial intelligence software to distribute digital ads, and FireEye, a Milpitas-based maker of computer security software. The stocks of both Silicon Valley companies nearly doubled in their Sept. 20 trading debuts.
Twitter hasn't set a timetable for its IPO since announcing its plans to go public in a Sept. 12 tweet. Most analysts expect the San Francisco company to complete the process in November or December.
Wall Street's infatuation with Facebook's social network and LinkedIn's online professional network bodes well for Twitter. Like Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter runs a bustling service that relies on free content posted by its users.
With about 200 million users, Twitter is the smallest of the bunch, based on the company's most recent disclosures about its size. LinkedIn has nearly 240 million users, and Facebook boasts nearly 1.2 billion active users.
That gap leaves Twitter more room to grow, a prospect that typically appeals to investors.
Twitter's IPO will go well if it can draft off the momentum of Facebook and LinkedIn, whose stocks have more than doubled in value in the past year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 17 percent during the same period.
Price of Yahoo stock. It is the first time in nearly six years that it has surpassed $34
Amount investors have poured in to secondary offerings by LinkedIn and Pandora Media
Priceline.com's stock has leapt beyond its 1999
peak during the