Intel sells stake in GeoCities, SportsLine

The chip maker cuts its holdings in GeoCities and SportsLine USA in the first quarter as shares in the Web site operators soar.

WASHINGTON--Intel cut its holdings in GeoCities and SportsLine USA in the first quarter as shares in the Web site operators soared.

The world's largest maker of computer chips sold 250,000 shares, or about half of its stake, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based SportsLine USA in the first three months of 1999. Intel also sold 250,000 shares representing nearly a quarter of its stake in GeoCities, which provides Internet users with free Web pages and makes money through advertising sales.

SportsLine USA shares fell 1 today to 36.13. Company shares reached a record 59.25 in March after the online sports news service linked up with more leading Web portals, drawing more users. Shares in Marina Del Rey, California-based GeoCities today rose 3.84 to 108.84. GeoCities shares have more than tripled so far this year.

Intel's sales underscore its strategy of investing in companies that can help expand the computing industry or its Internet industry knowledge and then taking advantage of rising stock prices.

"It's very common for us to be looking at our portfolio in terms of market conditions and stock performance," said Robert Manetta, an Intel spokesman. "From time to time we may decide to rebalance our portfolio."

Intel reported its holdings in a Form 13F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Money managers and some corporations who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F after the end of each quarter that discloses the contents of their stock portfolios. The filings are due 45 days after the quarter ends.

Intel operates a venture fund that stands at about $3 billion and represents investments in more than 250 companies, the company spokesman said. The venture fund consists of stakes in both publicly traded and privately held companies. Intel doesn't disclose its stakes in private companies through the Form 13F.

The sales reduced Intel's stake in SportsLine USA to 222,043 shares at March 31, compared with 472,043 shares reported at the end of 1998. In addition, the sales cut Intel's GeoCities holdings to 833,190 shares, from 1.08 million shares reported previously.

Copyright 1999, Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved.

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