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Excite@Home meets estimates in 4Q

    Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) posted a narrow profit and met estimates in the fourth quarter.

    After market close Thursday, the provider of cable Internet access reported fourth quarter pro forma net income of $514,000, or roughly breakeven on a per-share basis, excluding merger-related writedowns. That was in line with First Call's survey of 18 analysts.

    Including amortization of goodwill and other intangibles related to the merger of Excite and At Home, the company lost $723 million, or $1.93 per share.

    Fourth quarter revenue rose to $128.8 million, a 76 percent improvement on a pro forma basis from revenue of $73.3 million in the year ago period.

    For the full year, Excite@Home saw pro forma losses of $14.6 million, or 4 cents per share, on revenue of $420.5 million, excluding amortization. Including writedowns, the company lost $1.46 billion, or $4.61 per share.

    Also Thursday, Excite@Home confirmed reports that George Bell would become CEO, in addition to his current duties as president. Former CEO Tom Jermoluk will remain chairman. Two senior vice presidents, Ken Goldman and John O'Farrell, were promoted to executive vice presidents. General counsel David Pine and human resources head Leilani Gayles were elevated to senior vice presidents.

    Shares of Excite@Home fell to 41 1/8 in afterhours activity. The stock closed Thursday's regular trading at 42 5/8, down 3/16 for the session.

    Excite@Home boosted its consumer subscriber total 36 percent from the third quarter, to 1.15 million customers at year's end. The service now reaches 24 million homes worldwide, compared to 13 million a year ago. The company boosted its penetration of eligible homes to 4.8 percent, or almost double from a year earlier.

    The company's @Work division reached 5,100 business customers, more than a 20 percent improvement from the third quarter.

    Unique users for the Excite network in the December reached about 28 million, or 42.5 percent of the Web audience, according to Media Metrix statistics. Registered users for Excite increased to 51 million from 44 million in the third quarter, not counting figures from the recently acquired Bluemountain.com.

    Electronic greeting cards from Bluemountain.com rose to almost 130 million in the fourth quarter, with the website sending more than twice as many cards in December as the previous month.

    Excite@Home's MatchLogic advertising unit delivered more than 15 billion ad impressions in the fourth quarter, a 60 percent improvement sequentially. MatchLogic also sent more than 50 million e-mail ads.>