Stock Watch: Florida Banks Soars after Announcing E-Commerce Plans

The entire online banking industry is hotter than hot. If you want more proof, just look at what happened to Florida Banks Inc. on Tuesday. Shares of Florida Bank (Nasdaq: FLBK) gained more than 270 percent, thundering ahead 22-13/16 points to 31-1/4 after the company announced that it will offer full-service online banking in the third quarter of 1999.

The euphoria surrounding this news caused investors to overlook the fact that the company lost four cents a share in the first quarter, which is significant because this happened when Florida Banks was simply a holding company and not an Internet company.

Regardless, online banks seem to be the latest craze, and you have to at least give Florida Banks credit for timing. But be careful before you decide to invest in any online bank. The major run-ups may already have come and gone.

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