Excite@Home writes off a bundle


Amid a dramatic slowdown in online ad spending, Excite@Home took a $4.6 billion writeoff, acknowledging that some of its acquisitions aren't going to pay off.

Although the non-cash writedown doesn't affect the the high-speed cable Internet service operations or all-important cash flow, it represents more than half of the company's asset base and two-thirds the face value of the acquisitions the company has made over the past few years, including that of portal Excite.

On the operating side, fourth quarter revenues totalled $169.1 million, up 31% from the same period in 1999, by just 5.3% from the third quarter. Not great given the continuing expansion of the sales of its high-speed Internet service.

Any advertising business melts after the hot Christmas season, but Excite@Home sees a sharp 30-35% drop in ad sales during the first quarter of 2001, spurring a 12-15% decline in total revenues.
- John Higgins