HCIA shares gain $5, to close at $65

MARYLAND WATCH

July 19, 1996

HCIA, the Baltimore-based health data company, closed yesterday at $65 a share -- up 24.4 percent in two days. HCIA zTC posted a $5-a-share jump yesterday, after a $7.75 leap Wednesday.

On Monday, HCIA announced it had signed a letter of intent to acquire LBA Health Care Management Inc. of Denver, a health data firm which also does consulting, an area in which HCIA has not been strong.

Joel Ray, an analyst for Wheat First Butcher Singer in Richmond, Va., said the quick run-up resulted from "a rebound in technology names, combined with the acquisition." Health stocks also have rebounded, he noted. For example, he said, HBO & Co., a health data company that is "one of the bellwethers in that sector," also rebounded over the past two days. HBO closed at $64.50 a share yesterday, up 11.7 percent since Tuesday.

HCIA went public in February 1995, with an IPO price of $14 a share.

Ray said HCIA's price is volatile, in part because small numbers of shares are traded. Recent volumes -- 517,800 shares traded yesterday and 728,300 the day before -- are well ahead of the three-month average of 203,000 shares a day.

Pub Date: 7/19/96

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