Excite@Home refocuses strategy after posting loss

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Internet broadband service and content company Excite@Home on Jan. 25 reported a fourth-quarter operating loss that was lower than most forecasts, but the company posted a net loss of $5.43 billion resulting from a $4.8 billion write-off of its struggling media properties. In reporting its earnings, the company said it would sell off several of its core operations. CEO George Bell said the company now will focus only on businesses that support its broadband Internet service, and only on those on a clear path to profitability. But he warned the changes would produce disappointing results in 2001 as the company refocuses its strategy.

Excite@Home said it would sell several properties, including the iMall e-commerce business, which hosts small merchants online, and its Enliven advertising business, which develops rich-media ads for a broadband audience. The company also said it expects its current quarter, the first of fiscal 2001, will be the weakest of the year. Excite@Home said it expects total revenue will decline between 12 percent and 15 percent from the fourth quarter, largely reflecting a 30 percent to 35 percent decline in its media and advertising revenue.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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