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Earnings roundup: Excite@Home posts 3Q in line with expectations

Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) met analyst estimates in the third quarter and slightly lowered its fourth quarter expectations.

After market close Tuesday, the cable Internet access provider reported a third quarter loss o4 $41.6 million, or 10 cents per share, excluding special charges. That was in line with First Call's consensus forecast.

Shares of Excite@Home traded at 10.37 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, following the release of quarterly results. Excite@Home stock closed Tuesday's regular trading at 10.125, up 0.0625 for the session.

Also Tuesday, Excite@Home also reduced its fourth quarter revenue forecast a bit. The company now sees fourth quarter sales growth in the low double digits, on a percentage basis, with a loss between 8 and 10 cents per share, not counting unusual charges. First Call consensus was predicting a loss of 6 cents per share for the December quarter.

"We are not unlike our competitors in experiencing some of the softness in the online advertising market," said CFO Mark McMcEachen.

However, subscriber business helped insulate Excite@Home from some of the softness in online advertising felt by pure content companies, CFO Mark McEachen said. Unlike some peer companies, McEachen said, Excite@Home derived less than 40 percent of its revenues from online advertising. Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) two weeks ago during its third quarter conference call said that slightly more than 40 percent of revenue came from pure Internet companies.

Third quarter revenue increased to $169.9 million from $112.6 million in the year ago period. Subscribers rose to 2.31 million, a 28 percent improvement sequentially. Excite@Home said it is on target to end the year with three million broadband subscribers.

"The overwhelming message of the quarter was our subscriber growth," McEachen told Reuters. "We had set guidance at 400,000 new customers and it came in at 510,000. Obviously that was very, very pleasing."

Excite@Home expects its subscriber base to grow between 25 percent and 30 percent in the fourth quarter.

Other companies reporting quarterly results Tuesday:

  • Razorfish (Nasdaq: RAZF)
  • fell short of analysts' lowered expectations in the third quarter.

    The Internet consultant reported a third quarter profit of $900,000, or a penny per share, excluding amortization. That was at the low end of the company's warning earlier this month, and less than the 2 cents per share predicted by First Call's most recent survey of 9 analysts.

    Third quarter revenue increased 72 percent year-over-year and 1 percent sequentially to $77.1 million.

  • AskJeeves (Nasdaq: ASKJ)
  • lost less than analysts expected in the third quarter.

    The search engine company reported a third quarter net loss of $12.6 million, or 36 cents per share, excluding amortization. First Call's survey of nine anlaysts predicted a loss of 42 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

    Third quarter revenue more than quadrupled year-over-year to $29 million, including $13.2 million from business customers licensing AskJeeves technologys and $15.9 million from Web properties of AskJeeves.

    Including amortization and unusual expenses, AskJeeves lost $38.5 million, or $1.08 per share.

  • Egghead.com (Nasdaq: EGGS)
  • lost far less than analysts expected in the third quarter.

    The online retailer reported a third quarter loss of $12.9 million, or 31 cents per share, excluding a one-time gain of $3 million. Including the unusual income, Egghead.com lost $9.9 million, or 24 cents per share. The consensus forecast of First Call -- whose estimates typically excluded non-recurring events -- predicted a loss of 42 cents per share for Egghead.com's September quarter.

    Third quarter revenue fell to $105.4 million from $129.8 million as Egghead.com slashed unprofitable lines.

    Egghead.com reiterated its previous prediction of 10 to 15 percent sequential revenue growth in the fourth quarter, and 10 to 15 percent growth for the full year 2001. Fourth quarter gross margin will be about flat with the third quarter's 10 percent, Egghead.com said.>