RealTime IT News

Excite@Home in Holding Pattern

Struggling cable broadband provider Excite@Home, now trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board after it was delisted by the Nasdaq on Oct. 22, preannounced some third quarter results Thursday but few strategies for going forward. The company appears to be in a holding pattern as it awaits the bankruptcy court's decision on an offer by AT&T Broadband to buy its assets.

@Home reported a net loss of $271.3 million, 66 cents a share, for the quarter. That does not reflect a deal the company cut Monday to sell its Excite.com portal to InfoSpace.

On the positive side of the balance sheet, @Home recorded total revenue of $138.4 million, 85 percent of which it said came from its consumer access and commercial services businesses. The company grew its worldwide residential broadband subscriber base by 486,000 during the quarter, bringing the total to 4.1 million. The number of North American subscribers grew by 417,000 to 3.69 million.

The company also highlighted interim agreements it struck with North American cable partners in October, revising the terms under which it provides service. Under the agreements, payments for past services were brought current and the company will receive periodic up-front payments for subscriber revenues based on a fixed amount of revenue per subscriber. @Home said that amount is higher than the revenue-share amounts historically received. The interim agreements expire on Nov. 30, and the company offered no assurance that they will be extended or renewed.

Indeed, Cox Communications Thursday said it would drop its long-standing relationship with @Home to offer its own cable broadband service.