Chrysler investors coming to Towson Shareholders to meet in May

March 08, 1996|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Towson will become Motor City, U.S.A., for one day in May when Chrysler Corp. brings its annual meeting of shareholders to town.

"We rotate the meeting every year and move it to where we have a substantial number of stockholders," Lori McTavish, a Chrysler spokeswoman in Warren, Mich., said yesterday. "This year it's your turn."

According to Chrysler, Maryland ranks among the top 15 states with the greatest number of individual stockholders. Other states lTC on the list include New York, Michigan, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Missouri. Last year's annual meeting was held in St. Louis.

"We have 2,600 shareholders of record in the Maryland area," Ms. McTavish said, noting that this does not include investors whose shares are held by their brokerage firms. Chrysler has 140,000 shareholders who own stock in their own names.

Chrysler expects the meeting to attract investors who are within a half-day's drive of Towson, said Ms. McTavish, "but as of this time we don't know how many to expect. The proxy statement won't be mailed until the end of the month."

Over the past 10 years, the meetings have averaged between 600 and 700 investors.

This meeting will be at 10 a.m. May 16 at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel on Dulaney Valley Road.

"It will probably be a pretty routine meeting," said David Hea- ly, a stock analyst who follows Chrysler for Burnham Securities. "The anticipated fireworks disappeared about a month ago when Chrysler reached a standstill agreement with [dissident shareholder Kirk] Kerkorian."

Mr. Kerkorian, a 78-year-old Las Vegas billionaire, is Chrysler's second-largest shareholder. He controls 13.6 percent of the company's outstanding stock. He led a failed takeover attempt of Chrysler last year.

Under terms of the agreement announced on Feb. 8, Chrysler said it would add James D. Aljian, a long-time executive of Mr. Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. and a director of MGM Grand, which is controlled by Mr. Kerkorian, to its board. In return, Mr. Kerkorian agreed not to raise his stake in the company for at least five years.

Shareholders will have little to criticize the company for this year, said Mr. Healy. "Things are going well for Chrysler at this time, much better than a year ago, when they had the big costs associated with the introduction of their new minivan."

He said Chrysler's first-quarter earnings are expected to show a big gain over last year's.

Most analysts are predicting profits in the range of $2.32 a share, but "it could be as high as $2.50," he said.

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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