Alex. Brown extends its very bullish year

October 23, 1991|By Peter H. Frank

Alex. Brown Inc. continued to record its best year ever as third-quarter earnings topped $8 million and revenues climbed nearly 50 percent, compared with a year ago.

The Baltimore-based investment banking firm, enjoying a rejuvenated interest in stocks that has the industry's profits soaring, also raised its quarterly dividend to 10 cents a share from 7 cents.

Results for the quarter that ended Sept. 27 were the third-best in the company's history -- behind only the first two quarters of this year.

"It's been another wonderful quarter for the industry, and we have participated in that," said Beverly L. Wright, chief financial officer at Alex. Brown.

With revenues up virtually across-the-board during the past three months, the company, parent of Alex. Brown & Sons Inc., recorded net income of $8.02 million, or 48 cents a share fully diluted. That compared with a loss of $3.1 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Revenues during the quarter rose to $85.7 million from $58 million a year ago.

The largest increase in revenue came from Alex. Brown's trading desks, which buy and sell securities on behalf of the company's own account or to provide a reserve for customers. Revenues in that operation jumped to $19.2 million during the recent quarter, compared with $1.6 million a year ago.

The company's investment banking business also increased dramatically from last year's third quarter, when the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait dampened investor interest in the market.

Alex. Brown, the largest underwriter of initial public offerings, led or co-managed 16 deals during the quarter that just ended, compared with 12 last year. Combined with an increase in municipal underwritings, revenues from investment banking were up one-third to $27.6 million, representing the company's largest segment of business.

Revenues from commissions rose nearly 18 percent, to $20.9 million, during the quarter. They came to $17.8 million last year.

The company said that its quarterly dividend would be payable Nov. 14 to stockholders of record Nov. 4. It was the second dividend increase since the second quarter of 1990, when the quarterly payout was raised to 7 cents a share from 5 1/2 cents.

Three months ended 9/27/91

.. .. .. .. ..Revenue.. .. .. .. .. Net.. .. .. .. Share

'91.. .. .. ..85,665,000.. .. .. 8,017,000 .. .. .. .0.48

'90.. .. .. .58,012,000.. .. ..(3,102,000).. .. ..(0.21)

change .. .. ..+47.7.. .. .. .. .. --.. .. .. .. .. .. --

Nine months ended 9/27/91

.. .. .. .. .. ..Revenue.. .. .. .. .. Net.. .. .. .. Share

'91.. .. .. .284,404,000.. .. .. .32,844,000.. .. .. 1.99

'90.. .. .. .203,721,000.. .. .. .3,945,000.. .. .. 0.25

% change.. .. . +39.6.. .. .. .. .. .+732.5.. .. .. .+696.0

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