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Tuesday, 21 August, 2001, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Investors desert Excite@Home
Excite logo
Doubts remain over Excite@Home's future as the battered portal admitted it is running out of cash.

The once high-flying global portal and high-speed internet service provider said in a statement: "Our existing cash and other liquid assets may not be sufficient to fund operations through the end of 2001."

The company, which boasts 3.2 million subscribers to its high-speed cable modem internet access service, ran up losses of $833m in the first three months of the year.

Its auditors Ernst & Young say "there is substantial doubt" about the AT &T subsidiary's ability to continue as a going concern.

However, Alan Alper, internet analyst at Gomez Advisors, in Concorde Massachussetts told the BBC's World Business Report that he thought it would survive.

"I don't think AT & T will let this thing die. It is too important for AT & T is just too vital," he said. "I think something is going to shake loose, this company will not die, its name may change, but its assets are too valuable."

Nasdaq ejection fears

The company is also struggling to fight a delisting from the US' Nasdaq technology index because of the dramatic decline in value of its shares.

By the end of Monday, shares in Excite had fallen to 46 cents from 87 cents.

This is a far cry from the a high of $18.56 in September last year before the worst of the tech stock crash had been felt.

The Nasdaq rejects companies whose share price falls below $1.

Excite@Home has been frantically trying to raise cash, announcing the closure of its divisions in France, Germany and Spain last month.

And on Friday, the firm announced a third round of redundancies in the US.

Analysts say that a delisting from the Nasdaq would almost certainly push the troubled firm into bankruptcy.

Alan Alper at internet experts Gomez Advisers
"This company will not die, its aim may change but its assets are too valuable"
See also:

23 May 01 | Business
T-Online eyes ExciteAtHome
06 Jun 01 | Business
Excite@Home retreats in Europe
08 Jan 01 | Business
GUS gives Breathe new life
17 Dec 00 | Business
Breathe loses battle for life
03 Jul 01 | Business
Thousands of surfers 'to be cut off'
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