Subscriber Growth Boosts [email protected]

[email protected] (Nasdaq: ATHM) rose 1.16 to 6.62 after the broadband serviceprovider said it ended the year with approximately 2.95 million subscribers, up from2.313 million at the end of the third quarter.

The company said it achieved its goal of 25 to 30 percent growth in itsworldwide broadband subscriber base.

The company pointed to its [email protected] startup kits as a key factor in meeting its sales goals. The program, launched inNovember through an alliance with Radio Shack, targets customers in marketsserved by the Comcast cable network.

The “QuickStart” kit, sold through Radio Shack as well as other retailersincluding Circuit City, CompUSA and Staples, has been the most successfulretail product ever for the company, [email protected] said. The kits sold at arate of 300 to 400 per day during December, even though availability anddemonstration capabilities were limited at first.

The company plans to expand its retail presence and in-storedemonstration capabilities by “hundreds of stores” this year. It will alsostart to offer the QuickStart kit through cable affiliates such as Cox and AT&T.

The company reported a third-quarter loss before extraordinary items ofUS$41.6 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of $4.2 million,or one cent per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 51 percent to $169.9million.

At the time, Excite said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to growat a “low double-digit rate,” with a loss before charges of 8 to 10 centsper share.

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