Investors Flee as Nemesis Closes in on Excite@Home

21 August 2001

Excite@Home, the US internet services and media company, looks to be going down for the third time following an adverse report from its auditors and a funeral oration by one of Wall Street’s least diffident entrail-rakers. It also faces a delisting by Nasdaq after its shares slid below the minimum level of $3.

By its own admission – in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission – Excite sees little chance of raising the funding it requires before the year end. Currently it has debts totalling around $1 billion and hard assets of $400m.

As if this was not enough, the last rites were intoned by one Henry Blodgett, an internet analyst at Merrill Lynch. According to this seer [currently on the receiving end of a lawsuit from an irate investor], Excite is likely to seek bankruptcy protection then split its business into sellable chunks and auction these to cable companies and other ISPs. Such a move, opined Blodgett, would leave little if any value to Excite’s stockholders.

Against this background, the ISP’s shares plunged yesterday by 46%, from 87 cents to 47 cents. Excite declined to comment on Blodgett’s comments or the possibility of bankruptcy.

News source: Financial Times