OUT WITH A WHIMPER; AREA INDEX ENDS QUARTER UP 23%.Byline: Ben Sullivan Daily News Staff Writer
The fourth quarter proved generally kind to local companies, with winners far outpacing losers among those that constitute the Daily News Index.
Overall, the 50-member index climbed 22.85 percent in the last three months of the year, opening at 115.74 in October and ending the year at 142.19. With company dividends reinvested, the index eked out a 23 percent return.
Helping fire up the performance were a dozen firms that each saw their share price climb by 50 percent or more, while just seven companies lost more than 10 percent of their value. All told, 37 companies gained over the quarter.
Leading the pack was the Burbank-based television post-production house Four Media Co. Driven by a 130 percent jump in annual earnings announced in late October, Four Media saw its price more than double from $3.75 a share to close at $7.75 on Dec. 31, a 107 percent gain. The company credited the earnings boost to growth in business brought by the acquisition of two firms - Pacific Ocean Post and Video Symphony - and the creation of a third firm, Company 3.
Three other companies vied for second place on the index, generating gains of over 91 percent each.
Semtech Corp. and Vitesse Semiconductor each benefited from sectorwide gains among computer chip makers serving the telecommunications industry. In addition, Camarillo-based Vitesse saw its shares climb after announcing the proposed purchase of Vermont Scientific Technologies, a circuit design firm, which it said will improve its prowess in that field.
Shares in Semtech, headquartered in Newbury Park, rose from $18.625 to $35.875, for a 92.6 percent gain, while Vitesse climbed from $23.625 to close at $45.625, a 93.1 percent gain.
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. the biggest sleeper Sleeper
Stock in which there is little investor interest but that has significant potential to gain in price once its attractions are recognized. Antithesis of high flyer. of the season was the Calabasas-based restaurant chain, The Cheesecake Factory. With no major corporate announcements and very little hoopla hoop·la
a. Boisterous, jovial commotion or excitement.
b. Extravagant publicity: The new sedan was introduced to the public with much hoopla.
2. , the company's shares gained 91.3 percent, starting the quarter at $15.50 and closing out just shy of $30, at $29.65625.
An additional 16 companies in the Daily News index gained at least 20 percent, at a time when the Dow Jones industrial average Dow Jones Industrial Average
The best known U.S. index of stocks. A price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks, primarily industrials including stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange. rose just over 17 percent.
On the downside On the Downside is an EP by the San Diego, California band Counterfit, released by Alphabet Records in 2000. It was the band's first EP, recorded shortly after the members had relocated to San Diego from Fairfield County, Connecticut. , it was a tough three months for Woodland Hills-based PacificAmerica Money Center, which earned the dubious title of worst performer on the index, down 93.6 percent by quarter's end. The financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. firm, which specializes in loaning money to people with poor credit, suffered along with nearly ever other player in the so-called subprime lending This article or section may deal primarily with the U.S. and may not present a worldwide view. sector.
PacificAmerica's shares sank to a record low of 43.75 cents apiece Dec. 31, down from $7.375 at the start of October, and from $25 in March. The drop and an industrywide in·dus·try·wide
adv. & adj.
Throughout an entire industry: sales that have decreased industrywide; industrywide cooperation. slump nixed a pending acquisition of Pacific America by Santa Monica-based Fremont General Corp.
Also hurt in the last three months was Chatsworth-based Chad Therapeutics therapeutics
Treatment and care to combat disease or alleviate pain or injury. Its tools include drugs, surgery, radiation therapy, mechanical devices, diet, and psychiatry. , a maker and distributor of respiratory equipment to the health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract industry. Chad suffered all year from a lack of new products to match competitors' offerings. A resulting drop in sales and earnings prompted the firm to announce earlier this week that it would lay off 12 percent of its work force.
Chad closed the year at $1.5625, down 45.1 percent for the quarter.
The five best and five worst performances in the last three months of '98 among the companies that constitute the Daily News Index:
COMPANY PCT (Private Communications Technology) A protocol from Microsoft that provides secure transactions over the Web. See security protocol. . CHANGE
Four Media Co. 107
Semtech Corp. 92.6
Vitesse Semiconductor 93.1
The Cheesecake Factory 91.3
North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. Scientific 90.8
COMPANY PCT. CHANGE
PacificAmerica Money Center -93.6
Chad Therapeutics -45.1
Panavision Inc. -30.8
Dole Food Co. -17.9
20th Century Industries -16.1
SOURCE: Bloomberg News
BOX: QUARTERLY RESULTS (See text)