Record '95 at Alex. Brown $95.6 million in profit is best in its 195 years

January 25, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Fed by huge gains in investment banking, Alex. Brown Inc. earned a record $95.6 million in 1995, up 35 percent from 1994, the company said yesterday.

The Baltimore-based investment banking and brokerage firm reported record revenues of $809.4 million, up 34 percent from 1994. Primary earnings per share were $6.16 for 1995, up 34 percent for the year, and $2.08 in the fourth quarter, up 55 percent.

The results exceeded even the most optimistic estimates by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The results "were the best in our 195-year history, surpassing our record achievements in 1993," said A. B. Krongard, Alex. Brown's chairman and chief executive.

Alex. Brown's stock closed yesterday at $45.125, up 75 cents.

The company's directors yesterday, approved a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents a share, payable Feb. 15.

Alex. Brown fared well on all fronts and, as were many other firms in the business, it was helped by a robust stock market in 1995.

Investment banking revenues reached a record $293.4 million for the year, up 49 percent from 1994.

Alex. Brown ranked No. 1 in the country in the number of initial public offerings managed, No. 3 in common stock offerings managed and No. 9 among all advisers of U.S. merger and advisory transactions completed in 1995, the company said.

Revenues from commissions grew by 24 percent to $173.5 million during the year.

Principal transaction revenues increased 16 percent, to $139.4 million, primarily due to gains in over-the-counter trading. These gains were partially offset by declines in the company's government and mortgage-backed securities trading.

Interest and dividend revenues were up 54 percent, to $105.5 million, because of higher interest rates and a surge in margin loans.

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