Just a year ago, investors were willing to pay significant premium for stocks in companies that delivered high-speed Internet access to consumers and businesses. Many, such as Covad Communications and Northpoint Communications failed to deliver promised growth rates, and saw their shares plummet. Execs at Excite @Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) must feel pretty dispirited when you consider that they’ve delivered on their promises but have still seen their share price tumble. At a recent $5.30, the shares are off nearly 95% from their 52-week high hit back in the spring of 1999. But when investor interest returns to the sector, the shares are likely to get a significant boost. Why? Excite @Home is on track to have more than 5 million broadband subscribers by the end of this year. These are the folks who typically pay $40 per month, just to be connected. As you can imagine, that leaves the company in a strong position to become a veritable cash cow starting next year. Though many have grown frustrated by the company’s inability to turn a profit, management has finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Heavy spending to build out the network is now complete, and management says that expenses should start declining from now on. That led A.G. Edwards’ Michael Kupinski to conclude that “earnings are not very far into the future.” Backing up the brightening outlook, a Director just snapped up $11.78 million worth of stock on the open market.
Combining content with conduit, At Home offers broadband Internet access and operates the Excite portal. Excite@Home uses high-speed cable modem and DSL (digital subscriber line) technology to provide Internet access to 3 million residential customers (@Home) and more than 6,000 businesses (@Work). Besides the Excite Network, the company’s content offerings include Work.com, which targets business users, and greeting card service Bluemountain.com. The company is controlled by AT&T, which has a 25% economic stake and a 74% voting interest.
The following is a summary view of SEC Form 4 filings indicating completed transactions by corporate insiders or major shareholders for the last 12 months. Click on a filer’s name to see details of the transactions listed on the document.