EAI shares jump 21%Education Alternatives Inc.'s shares...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 20, 1994

EAI shares jump 21%

Education Alternatives Inc.'s shares rose 21 percent yesterday on news that the provider of school-management services is in talks to run the public school system of Hartford, Conn.

The Minneapolis-based company's shares rose $2.50, to $14.50, on Nasdaq volume of 351,000 shares, double the three-month daily average.

If Education Alternatives wins a contract to manage the Hartford system, it could charge management fees of 3 percent to 5 percent of the district's $171.1 million annual budget. That would mean $5 million to $8.5 million in revenue for Education Alternatives, which had revenue of $14.1 million in the second half of 1993. The company operates nine Baltimore City schools.

Mitchell comments hurt HMOs

Shares of health maintenance organizations tumbled after Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell told a group of insurers yesterday that government-imposed limits on health care spending appeared "inevitable."

Mr. Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, was speaking to the Independent Insurance Agents of America.

US Healthcare Inc. fell $3, to $43.25; United Healthcare Corp. fell $2.875, to $40; Oxford Health Plans Inc. plunged $4.50, to $54 and FHP International Corp. slipped $1, to $22.75.

Complex seeks refinancing

The owners of the Towson Marketplace shopping center said yesterday that they are attempting to restructure the $19 million loan held by an insurance company that has scheduled an auction of the center for April 29. The owner said the talks may lead to a plan to redevelop the property.

The complex, which is 74 percent occupied, is owned by Bramalea Ltd. of Toronto. The lender is Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York.

HomeCall expansion gets OK

HomeCall Inc., the Frederick home health company, said yesterday that it has won state approval to operate in three West Virginia counties.

The home services company now serves 16 Maryland counties and four counties in Virginia. The latest regulatory OK allows it to expand into the counties of Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley in West Virginia. HomeCall sells skilled nursing care, home therapy and services for the elderly.

Philip Morris earnings rise

Philip Morris Cos. yesterday reported unexpectedly strong tobacco profits for the first quarter, helping ease concern about stepped-up attacks in Washington and lingering effects of a price war.

The tobacco and food company's first-quarter profit from operations slipped 3.5 percent, to $1.17 billion, or $1.34 a share.

The results exceeded a mean estimate of $1.25 a share by 14 analysts surveyed by Institutional Brokers Estimate System. Philip Morris shares climbed $1.75, to close at $51.875.

Domestic tobacco earnings fell 25 percent, less than analysts expected, as the group posted its best results since slashing prices last April.

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