At Home Corp.'s share price fell by about 10 percent
last Wednesday, as investors absorbed fourth-quarter results that, according to one
analyst, were in line with expectations but came out the same week as some telco
At Home -- which is controlled by Tele-Communications Inc.
and partly owned by several other MSOs -- said its net loss grew to $184.4 million, or
$1.55 per share of stock, compared with $11.9 million (10 cents) in the same period a year
ago. The loss included a $172.6 million charge for the stock issued to Cablevision Systems
Corp. as part of the affiliation deal that the two companies signed in the fourth quarter.
Aside from the charge, At Home's loss was $11.8 million (10 cents).
The company's share price fell by $2.50, to close at
$23.75 on the news. At Home also said its revenue nearly doubled, to $3.7 million from
$1.9 million a year ago. Yearly revenue was $7.4 million, up from $700,000 the prior year,
and the yearly net loss (before the Cablevision charge) was $46.5 million.
According to Goldman Sachs & Co. analyst Abraham
Bleiberg, the most important number to close watchers is how many high-speed-data
customers are being signed up by @Home Network cable affiliates. @Home hit its year-end
target of 50,000 subscribers, Bleiberg said, but investors may have hoped for a positive
surprise. Two @Home affiliates -- Rogers Cablesystems and Comcast Corp. -- have indicated
that they may be going slower on deployments as they work on field-deployment issues such
as installation times, the analyst added.
Bleiberg said Redwood City, Calif.-based At Home was also
affected by the 'ADSL noise,' referring to stories last week about concerted
efforts by local telephone companies to distribute their own data services using
asymmetrical digital subscriber line technologies.
Also last Wednesday, Hybrid Networks Inc., a
cable-modem-systems supplier in Cupertino, Calif., said its fourth-quarter loss grew to
$3.5 million (52 cents per share) from $2.4 million (75 cents), as revenue grew to $5.2
million from $1.7 million. Hybrid said it was pleased with revenue and margin growth, but
expenses grew as it looks to introduce a symmetrical two-way service.
Investors pummeled Hybrid over the results. The
company's shares lost nearly one-half of their value -- closing at $5 apiece, down
$4.88 -- in heavy NASDAQ trading, as 2 million shares changed hands. Hybrid went public in
November, selling 2.7 million shares to the public at $14 each. Its share price was as
high as $24.25 during that month.
And Bay Networks Inc., which owns cable-modem-maker LANcity
Corp., saw its stock price battered -- down $2.38, or 8 percent, to $27 -- last Wednesday,
after reporting better-than-expected results for the second quarter. Analysts said the
company cautioned them that third-quarter revenue growth may be damped by a transition to
a new product line.