They have no assets. Investors care about assets in a company.
They tend not to be in the black. While most .com companies have yet to really
have a burgeoning record of profits > expenditures + R&D, the linux
companies are not flying high.
Also, given general *trends* seen in NASDAQ, after an IPO, things drop rapidly.
I feel, right now, that the Linux stocks are still overvalued, but relative to
the other stocks, not nearly as much. VA was around the 40s when I saw it
last...to me, that's where they should be, not in the $200+ range. Look at
Palm (no, not a Linux company) and see how their stock has come down after a
skyrocketing first day. It's almost typical that in the first year after an
IPO is out, companies lose money.
That all said, I don't feel that Linux or even BSDs laurels rest with what
their stock value is or who the media darling is at the moment. We are not
Sun; we work at our own pace, on our own schedules, and we do so steadily, w/o
much head to the squabbles of a public comapny, because we are the public
company. In 8 years, we may be behind larger companies, and VA and Redhat may
be a little dot on the radar screen, but Linux will still be there and growing,
because that's what it does--it gets better on a core (Unix-like) that is used
by commercial companies, interests, and individuals.