Excite Inc turned in slightly better than expected third quarter figures yesterday, the same day it announced its acquisition of Netbot Inc for $35m. The Redwood City internet search engine company saw third quarter net losses fall to $5.7m from $9.4m last time, both after merger- related charges, largely from the acquisition of Webcrawler from America Online Inc, which amounted to $2.2m of non-cash amortization. Losses per share were $0.37, where First Call’s average estimate was for $0.49 per share. Revenues in the quarter rose to $14.4m from $4.0m last year. Excite’s previous quarter brought it back on track after a very shaky Q1. Highlights in the quarter were the formation of Excite Japan Co Ltd with Itochu Corp, the establishment of the Excite/Intuit business and investing channel, together with Intuit’s $40m investment for a 19% stake. Traffic rose to approximately 20 million page views a day in September, up 30% from the end of the previous quarter. That figure excludes the traffic from AOL NetFind, an arrangement whereby Excite’s engine is used as the basis of AOL’s engine. AOL’s chairman and chief executive Steve Case has resigned from the board as the two companies have ended their financial relationship aside from this deal. Case makes way for Intuit’s president and chief executive William Campbell. Excite had cash and equivalents of $31.7m at the quarter’s end, from $22.3m on December 31.
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