Business Digest


April 30, 2004

In the Region

Micro Systems posts 40% rise in quarterly earnings

Micros Systems Inc. of Columbia said yesterday that fiscal third quarter earnings climbed 40 percent, with net income rising to $7.5 million from $5.4 million in the quarter last year. Earnings per share grew 25.8 percent, to 39 cents per diluted share compared with 31 cents per diluted share in the third quarter last year.

Revenue for the quarter that ended March 31 grew 22.3 percent, to $121 million from $98.9 million in the third quarter of 2003. Revenue, net income and earnings per share results exceeded analysts' expectations.

Micros, which sells information systems to hospitals and retail chains, said it expects fourth quarter net income of $10.6 million to $11.7 million, and revenue of $125 million to $130 million. For the fiscal year ending June 30, the company expects net income of $31.4 million to $32.5 million, and revenue of $469 million to $474 million.

Calif. sleep-testing firm moves to Annapolis

Sleep Solutions Inc., a company that makes devices to do home testing for sleep disorders - a lower-cost alternative to hospital sleep lab testing - announced yesterday it has moved its headquarters to Annapolis from Palo Alto, Calif. The company has eight employees, according to Michael J. Thomas, its president and chief executive officer.

Thomas said the company made the move to be close to more insurance and biotechnology companies and federal offices.

When a doctor prescribes sleep testing, the company ships a device to the patient. A medical specialist interprets the results, and the patient ships the device back to the company.

Weatherbug parent obtains $23 million in financing

AWS Convergence Technologies, the Gaithersburg parent of Weatherbug, a popular source of weather information on the Web, said yesterday that it has secured $23 million in financing that included Sequoia Capital and Polaris Ventures as new investors.

Over the past four years, AWS has posted total revenue growth of more than 380 percent with substantial profit growth, company officials said. The financing announcement comes after the creation of a new partnership between AWS and AOL Instant Messenger for new service.

Magellan Health posts profit of $12.9 million

Magellan Health Services Inc. reported yesterday earnings of $12.9 million, or 35 cents a share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $12.4 million, or 46 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2003.

In March 2003, Magellan voluntarily filed for bankruptcy reorganization, emerging in January 2004. After emerging, it moved its headquarters from Columbia to Farmington, Conn., but still has nearly 650 employees in Maryland.

Magellan reported $440.2 million in revenue for the quarter, up 7.6 percent from $419 million in the year-earlier period.

GenVec quarterly loss rose to $5.6 million

GenVec Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology business, reported yesterday a net loss of $5.6 million for the first quarter. In the quarter last year, it lost $5.2 million. The company lost 11 cents per share, down from a loss of 23 cents pre share in the first quarter of 2003.

The company said the per-share decrease resulted from additional shares issued in August to acquire Diacrin Inc.

Revenue was $2.7 million, a decrease from the $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2003. GenVec ended the first quarter with cash and investments totaling $33.7 million. GenVec is developing new therapies for cancer, heart disease and vision loss.

FTI Consulting's profit declines nearly 37%

FTI Consulting Inc., an Annapolis consulting company, reported yesterday that first-quarter income from continuing operations was $20.9 million, a decline of nearly 37 percent from $32.9 million in the quarter last year.

Earnings per share on a fully diluted basis were 27 cents, down from 46 cents per share, or more than 41 percent, in the first quarter last year. Revenue was $110.2 million, an increase of 8.7 percent from revenue of $101.4 million for the first quarter of 2003, the company said.

FTI announced in late January that executives responsible for about a fifth of its business had quit, a revelation that prompted a sharp drop in the company's share price. Yesterday, the company revealed that it had to return about $10 million in business-retainer payments to clients as a result of the exodus.

SafeNet narrows loss after 77% rise in revenue

SafeNet Inc., a White Marsh network security company, reported a narrower first-quarter loss yesterday as revenue increased 77 percent.

The net loss for the three months that ended March 31 was $500,000, or 3 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $9.7 million, or $1.07 a share, in the first quarter last year.

Revenue was $24 million, compared with $13.6 million in the corresponding period in 2003.


Gateway to cut 1,500 more jobs after another loss

Gateway Inc. is cutting another 1,500 jobs, or about 40 percent of its remaining work force, a month after a similar cut.

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