Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

February 02, 2005

In the Region

Carrollton profit for '04 was $888,000 after write-down

Carrollton Bancorp reported yesterday that its net income for last year dropped 4 percent to $888,000, or 31 cents a share, after accounting for a declining securities portfolio.

The bank had said earlier that it would reduce its fourth-quarter earnings by $305,000 to account for the lower value of its preferred stock in Freddie Mac, hurt by an accounting scandal in 2003. Without the write-down, Carrollton had $1.1 million in earnings last year.

FOR THE RECORD - A Business brief yesterday misidentified the location of Profectus Bioscience Inc. It is at the University of Maryland Baltimore County's incubator: techcenter@UMBC.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Carrollton also announced a quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share payable March 1 to shareholders as of Feb. 16. The Baltimore-based bank opened a branch in Harford County last month and had $226 million in deposits at the end of 2004.

PHH shares at $21.90 on first day of trading

On its first day of trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of PHH Corp. closed at $21.90, down 10 cents, with 7.9 million shares changing hands.

PHH, which operates a mortgage business and the Sparks-based PHH Arval fleet management company, was spun off Monday from parent Cendant Corp. to Cendant shareholders. Cendant distributed one share of PHH common stock for every 20 shares of Cendant common stock outstanding as of Jan. 19. A total of 52.7 million shares were distributed.

PHH's shares reached an intraday high of $22.29.

SafeNet 4th-quarter profit climbed to $11 million

SafeNet Inc. yesterday reported fourth-quarter adjusted net income of $11 million, or 44 cents a share, up from $4.5 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue grew to $63.8 million from $18.7 million in the 2003 quarter.

The adjusted numbers exclude nonrecurring financial items, including acquisition-related expenses and restructuring charges.

Without those adjustments, the Baltimore information-security firm would have had net income of $1.3 million, or 5 cents a share, against net income of $4.3 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.

For all of last year, SafeNet reported adjusted net income of $30.7 million, or $1.36 per fully diluted share, compared with adjusted net income of $10.7 million, or 89 cents per fully diluted share, for all of 2003, the company said. Revenue for last year climbed to $201.6 million, from $66.2 million in 2003.

Biotechnology business Profectus started by Gallo

AIDS researcher Robert C. Gallo, who was offered $12 million to come to Baltimore and set up the Institute of Human Virology in 1997, has started a biotechnology business based on the institute's work.

Profectus Biosciences Inc., which plans to take on its fifth employee by midmonth, will develop and commercialize products to treat human viral diseases and cancers. The company has licensed HIV vaccine technology from the state's University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, home to the Institute of Human Virology.

Its creation fulfills a promise to the state that the institute would spin off a bioscience business to foster economic and societal growth in Maryland. Profectus is at a University of Maryland business incubator in College Park.

Elsewhere

Google's profit leaped sevenfold in 4th quarter

Google Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit, reported yesterday, surged sevenfold, accelerating the financial gains that have quickly turned the online search engine leader into a Wall Street favorite.

The company said it earned $204.1 million, or 71 cents per share, in the final three months of last year, up from net income of $27.3 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue totaled $1.03 billion, more than doubling from $512.2 million a year ago.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

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