Environmental Elements reports small profit

Baltimore company is heading in `right direction,' analyst says

January 31, 2001|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Environmental Elements Corp. said yesterday that it ended its third quarter in the black - the first profitable quarter the company has had since the third period a year ago.

The Baltimore-based maker of pollution-control devices had net income of $17,000 on sales of $14.8 million for the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with a profit of $85,000 on sales of $13.9 million in the year-ago period.

The company also announced that its president, John L. Sams, will also hold the title of chief executive officer.

EEC has three main businesses: installing traditional pollution-control devices, mainly for power and paper plants; servicing those devices; and a new "ammonia-on-demand" technology that helps power plants reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Since Sams became president in February, the company has sought to put a greater emphasis on its service division and on the ammonia technology.

"Progress has been favorable in each of our three principal business lines, especially the services unit," Sams said. "We have favorable momentum on several fronts as we move into the final quarter of our fiscal year."

EEC's 2001 fiscal year ends March 31.

The company won two contracts last year to install its ammonia process at power plants in Massachusetts and Ohio, and it opened a regional maintenance facility in Wisconsin. EEC has three other such centers in Florida, Virginia and Texas.

David Weaver, an analyst who covers EEC for Legg Mason, said he hadn't discussed details of the earnings with company officials but that it appears the company is "heading in the right direction in terms of getting the business turned around." He rates the stock a "market perform," which is a hold.

Shares of EEC, which announced its earnings after the stock markets closed, rose 29 cents yesterday to $2.19.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2001, the company reported a net loss of $6.4 million on sales of $43.5 million. For the corresponding year-ago period, EEC had sales of $39 million and a loss of $989,000.

The company also said yesterday that Joseph J. Duffy, president of Duffy Consulting Group LLC in Severna Park, has been named a director.

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