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DAIN BOSWORTH: NORTHWEST RESULTS STRONG DURING FINAL QUARTER; STOCK MARKET SIGNALS HEALTHIER REGIONAL ECONOMY

 SEATTLE, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic recovery in the Pacific Northwest may be on the way, based on results from the final quarter of activity in the stock market, Dain Bosworth Incorporated said today. Looking particularly healthy are Northwest financial institutions and even many retail companies, but research analysts at Dain Bosworth Incorporated in Seattle caution against making snap judgments.
 "The region's economic indigestion has been caused by several factors," said Dain Vice President and Research Analyst George Haloulakos. "Not the least of those is that the outlook at Boeing has been less than robust. The loss of each 1,000 jobs there has the effect of another 2,000-3,000 jobs lost at support companies. So, even though Boeing and other firms had a good finishing period, 'one quarter does not a recovery make.'"
 The Dain Bosworth Pacific Northwest Index of 57 companies was up a healthy 6.42 percent to 397.726 during the final quarter of the year. Among the major national indexes, the NASDAQ (+16.05 percent) enjoyed a double-digit gain during the quarter. The S&P 500 was up 4.29 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrials was up an anemic 0.90 percent.
 Dain's Pacific Northwest Index is divided into six segments which reflect the most important sectors of the region's economy. The segments cover Northwest utilities, manufacturing, financial institutions, retail/services, technology and natural resources companies. Dain Bosworth tracks the Northwest stocks as one measure of how well the region's economy is performing when compared with the rest of the nation.
 During the fourth and final quarter of 1992, the stocks of 38 companies in the Dain Pacific Northwest Index were up, while 17 declined and two stayed dead even. The biggest winner was Key Tronic (+50.91 percent to $10.375). Others in the top five of the Dain Northwest Index included Electro Scientific (+40.00 percent to $5.250), Nordstrom (+35.96 percent to $38.750), SpaceLabs Medical (+30.00 percent to $29.250) and Washington Mutual (+29.33 percent to $33.625). During the course of the entire year, Key Tronic was up a whopping 388.24 percent, while Puget Sound Bancorp very nearly doubled in value (+98.54 percent to finish at $51.125).
 The five worst performing stocks in Dain's Northwest Index during the fourth quarter included PacifiCorp (-14.13 percent to $19.750), VWR Corp. (-15.63 percent to $13.500), NERCO (-18.18 percent to $12.375) and Precision Castparts (-19.79 percent to $19.250). The region's largest loser during the fourth quarter was Coeur d'Alene Mines (-23.14 percent to $11.625). Over the course of the year, the stocks of three Northwest companies nearly halved in value. Egghead Discount Software fell 41.04 percent to $9.875. Mentor Graphics (-44.92 percent to $8.125) was also down sharply. Aldus Corp. (-62.75 percent to $14.250) took dubious honors as the worst performing stock during the whole of 1992, even though performing well during the quarter (+8.57 percent).
 Five of Dain's six industry segments were up during the quarter and only one was down. The leading segment was Dain's list of eight financial institutions (+12.55 percent), which were led by Washington Mutual (+29.33 percent), West One Bancorp (+23.78 percent) and Puget Sound Bancorp (+19.24 percent). Only one stock in this segment lost ground during the quarter. Horizon Bank was down 1.69 percent.
 "Strong stocks in this segment are benefiting from continuing merger and acquisition activity," said Dain financial analysts R. Jay Tejera and Mary Ekman. "Washington Mutual is up strongly due to an October announcement of an agreement to acquire Pacific First Bank from Royal Trustco of Toronto. The structure of the deal protects Washington Mutual from virtually any asset quality problems at Pacific First."
 West One has now completed the acquisition of the former Security Pacific branches, the Dain analysts noted. "This makes West One the sixth largest institution in the state, a fact to which investors are responding positively.
 "Puget Sound Bank stock continues to climb as the date for its scheduled merger with Key Bank approaches. Final Federal Reserve approval for the merger was received in December and the transaction is now scheduled to close on Jan. 15," Tejera and Ekman said.
 Dain's index of eight retail/service companies (+10.49 percent) was the second healthiest Northwest segment during the quarter. The biggest gainers were Nordstrom, Albertson's (+14.12 percent) and Fred Meyer (+16.20 percent). The largest losers were Alaska Air Group (-5.04 percent) and Costco (-6.67 percent).
 Dain's technology index (+8.60 percent) of 10 companies also finished in the plus column during the quarter. Notable winners included Key Tronic, Electro Scientific and SpaceLabs Medical. The biggest technology loser was Tektronix (-8.52 percent), although Advanced Technology Laboratories (+0.72 percent) was barely above water level for the quarter and lost 33.96 percent of its value during the year.
 "Technology stocks managed a strong final quarter after a difficult year nationwide," said Dain technology analyst Glenn Powers. "Northwest companies followed this pattern. Stocks that are well down from earlier high prices typically see selling pressure for tax reasons at this time of the year."
 Haloulakos agreed, saying, "While many technology stocks suffered during the year, Electro Scientific rebounded as operations returned to profitability after nearly two years of losses."
 "SpaceLabs Medical was up sharply after reporting better-than- expected operating margins during its first full quarter as a public company," Powers added. The company was spun off from Westmark last July.
 Some battered technology stocks actually staged something of a comeback in the fourth quarter, Powers said. "Aldus gained back more than 8 percent during the final quarter, while Egghead Discount Software recouped slightly less than one-third of its year-long losses."
 Dain's list of 10 natural resources companies (+7.38 percent) finished fourth among all six segments, but still were healthy as an industry segment. The biggest winners were Longview Fibre (+27.59 percent) and Louisiana Pacific (+21.94 percent). The biggest losers were Hecla Mining (-12.68 percent), NERCO and Coeur d'Alene Mines.
 "Continued tightness in Northwest timber supplies enabled forest product companies, such as Longview Fibre, Louisiana Pacific, Weyerhaeuser and Willamette Industries (+20.44 percent), to benefit from higher product prices, which in turn boosted earnings," noted Haloulakos, Dain's forest and paper products analyst. "The sharp rise in operating earnings was the catalyst in significantly higher stock prices within this group.
 "Paper makers, such as Boise Cascade (+9.03 percent) and Pope & Talbot (+7.56 percent), did not have the product pricing power that forest product firms had," he said. "This resulted in slower earnings recovery growth, and hence, lackluster stock price performance."
 The 11 manufacturing companies in the Dain Index were up 2.85 percent this quarter. Although many were down for the year, quarterly winners included Esterline (+22.37 percent), Penwest (+14.86 percent) and Boeing (+9.90 percent). This segment's largest losers included Univar (-7.00 percent), VWR Corp. and Precision Castparts.
 "A decline in aircraft orders and deliveries, as well as a general contraction in the aerospace/defense sector during 1992, caused Boeing to decline 15.49 percent over the course of the entire year," Haloulakos noted. "The stock prices of Eldec (-2.44 percent for the quarter), Esterline and Precision Castparts, which are suppliers to the aerospace/defense sector, were similarly impacted. The recessionary impact on Morrison Knudsen's (+6.13 percent for the quarter) industrial process and locomotive rebuild businesses caused its stock price to fall 12.63 percent during the last year.
 "The start-up costs of a joint venture partially offset the benefits of a housing recovery that TJ International (-2.17 percent) would normally experience at this time. As a result, its stock price was slightly down. Penwest's share price declined 12.37 percent during the year as the company's 12-month earnings were down for the first time in four years," he said.
 "Like the bunny-rabbit on the TV commercial, Nike's stock price (+4.40 percent), fueled by continued earnings growth, just keeps going and going -- up and up," Haloulakos said.
 Dain's list of 10 Pacific Northwest utility companies lost 1.84 percent as a group and finished last among all six segments for the quarter. The biggest winner was Cascade Natural Gas (+4.35 percent), while Washington Energy (+3.57 percent) finished up, as well. Those which lost ground included NW Natural Gas (-11.63 percent) and PacifiCorp (-14.13 percent). Otherwise, companies in this segment performed listlessly during the fourth quarter.
 Dain Bosworth is a full-service stock brokerage and investment banking firm with 13 Pacific Northwest offices located in Bellevue, Bellingham, Bremerton, Everett, Seattle and Spokane, Wash.; in Bend, Eugene, Medford, Portland and Salem, Ore.; and in Billings and Great Falls, Mont. The Minneapolis-based corporation has 52 offices nationwide, is a member of the New York Stock Exchange and is a subsidiary of Inter-Regional Financial Group (IFG). The firm has more than $200 million in annual revenues through service to 250,000 investors.
 -0- 12/31/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A complete set of stock performance tables is either attached or available on PR Newswire or from Communication Northwest, 206-285-7070.
 /CONTACT: George A. Haloulakos, 206-621-3118, R. Jay Tejera, 206-621-3125, Glenn Powers, 206-621-3116, Deborah L. Wardwell, 206-621-3106, Mary Ekman, 206-621-3191, or Marcy Nichols, 206-621-3247, all of Dain Bosworth Incorporated/


CO: Dain Bosworth Incorporated ST: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana IN: FIN SU: ECO

LM -- SE006 -- 1050 12/31/92 20:15 EST
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