Excite Names New Chief Executive

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Excite At Home Corp. named Patti Hart chairman and chief executive, issued a second-quarter warning and posted first-quarter results in line with lowered expectations.

At 4 p.m. EDT on the Nasdaq Stock Market, shares of Excite (ATHM) were off 20 cents, or 4.9%, at $3.87. In after-hours activity, the stock of the Internet-service provider fell to $3.26, according to Island ECN.

Ms. Hart’s appointment confirmed a report Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal. Former Chairman and CEO George Bell resigned. He had said in September that despite whenever a successor as CEO was named, he would remain chairman through 2001. An Excite spokesman said Monday Mr. Bell wanted to spend more time with his family.

Ms. Hart was chairman and CEO of Telocity Inc., a provider of high-speed Internet access over telephone lines — so called digitial-subcriber-line service — that was acquired earlier this month by General Motors Corp.’s (GM) Hughes Electronics Corp. unit (GMH). She joined Telocity in June 1999.

Excite is now forecasting second-quarter revenue similar to the first quarter’s $142.8 million and a loss from operations of 16 cents to 17 cents a share because of “higher net interest expense driven by increased leasing of capital equipment and lower other income from portfolio gains.” The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by ThomsonFinancial/First Call was for a loss of 10 cents a share. A year earlier, the company lost $45.3 million, or 11 cents a share, on revenue of $157.6 million.

Excite added it expects “improving” operating losses in the second half of the year.

The company, controlled by AT&T Corp. (T), said it had a first-quarter net loss of $832.6 million, or $2.05 a share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $676.5 million, or $1.75 a share.

Excluding $630.5 million in writing down acquisition-related and othe assets, along with similar year-earlier costs, Excite said it would have lost $61,6 million, or 15 cents a share, versus a year-earlier loss of $4.6 million, or a penny a share.

Revenue rose 3.4% to $142.8 million.

Last week, Excite said it expected to report a loss from operations of 14 cents to 15 cents a share, slightly wider than previous guidance of 13 cents to 14 cents a share. Revenue was slated to come in between $140 million and $145 million, just short of the company’s earlier forecast of $143.8 million to $148.8 million.

Excite, created in 1999 through At Home Corp.’s acquisition of then-No. 2 Web portal Excite Inc., was introduced with the goal of marrying Web content with high-speed Internet access. Its goal was to be a next-generation version of America Online Inc. — now AOL Time Warner Inc. — which blossomed by offering consumers an Internet link and activities such as chat groups and shopping services to entice them to spend time on its site. Excite currently offers high-speed connections to the Internet through cable-television lines.

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