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BIZWATCH : MARKETS.

MARKET LOGIC: Blue-chip stocks succumbed to more profit-taking Thursday, with leading technology shares suffering the greatest losses, as Alan Greenspan's threat of an interest rate hike loomed over the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 58.11 to 6,925.07, extending Wednesday's 55-point slide.

MEMO

NET SUIT: Breaking a 25-year Internet tradition of consensus, Image Online Design Inc. of San Luis Obispo filed suit Thursday against the organization that rules over on-line addresses. The suit charges that the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority reneged on a deal giving the company permission to register Internet addresses ending in .web. The case pits the notion of the Internet as an international resource subject to the public trust against the right to stake an on-line claim to commercial activities, according to the two sides.

ANIMATED STOCKS: Shares of North Hollywood-based Film Roman Inc. surged 22 percent after its ``C-Bear & Jamal'' animated children's show was renewed for a second season by News Corp.'s Fox Kids Network. The shares rose 62.5 cents to $3.50. Fox had dropped the show in December to make room for other programs on Saturday mornings, causing Film Roman's stock to plunge a few months after going public at $10 a share.

VOICE POWERED PURCHASED: Voice Powered Technology International, a Sherman Oaks maker of voice-activated organizers and other products, will be bought by Franklin Electronic Publishers Inc. of Burlington, N.J. for $3.5 million. Franklin will pay 25 cents in cash or stock for every Voice Powered common share in a deal expected to be completed by June 30.

BULLISH FUTURE: Stock of Westlake Village-based Diodes Inc. rose 15 percent Thursday after the semiconductor producer gave a bullish outlook for the first half of this year. The issue rose $1.19 to $9.125 as Diodes forecasted stronger demand and improved margins. Diodes also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $808,000, or 15 cents a share, down 39.6 percent from the 1995 quarter partly due to costs of a Chinese joint venture. Sales were up 6.5 percent to $14.97 million.

EARNINGS

Sun Valley-based Cosmetic Group U.S.A. Inc. reported net income of $215,000 for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a net loss of $434,000 in the same period a year ago. Revenues were $4.5 million vs. $4 million. For the year the company reported net income of $405,000.

Encino-based Pinkerton's Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings of $4.7 million, off 15 percent from the 1995 period as income taxes more than doubled to $3.5 million from $1.7 million due to a one-time strategy in the prior period. Earnings in the 1996 quarter were 8 cents ahead of First Call's consensus of Wall Street estimates. Revenues for the security specialist rose 10 percent to $297.8 million.

Chatsworth-based Plasma & Materials Technologies Inc. reported a net loss of $97.6 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with net income of $923,497 in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $14.6 million vs. $7.3 million. For the year the company reported a net loss of $94.5 million compared with net income of $117,885 in 1995. Revenues were $42.2 million vs. $21.3 million. The results reflect an acquisition made during the year. The company supplies equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing.

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WHO BUYS AMERICAN GOODS

Distribution of U.S. manufactured exports.

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 28, 1997
Words:587
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