Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 10, 2007|By Allison Connolly

Maryland: Earnings

United Industrial profit rises 112.2%

Hunt Valley-based United Industrial Corp. reported strong results for the fourth quarter and 2006, boosted by contracts related to its military drones and training simulators. Fourth-quarter profit soared 112.2 percent to $22.1 million, or $1.55 a share, from $10.4 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, a year earlier, largely due to an $8.4 million gain realized from the sale of its Detroit Stoker Co. energy business in December, which contributed 57 cents to earnings. Revenue for the quarter that ended Dec. 31 increased nearly 10 percent to $166.6 million from $151.6 million a year ago. For the year, net income rose 15.2 percent to $47.2 million, or $3.42 a share, from $41 million or $2.89 a share, for 2005. Revenue grew 18 percent to $564 million.

Allison Connolly

Energy

BP Solar program gets U.S. support

The Energy Department said yesterday that it would support a three-year, $40 million research and development program sponsored by Frederick-based BP Solar and its partners that looks to decrease the cost of solar cells and make them as efficient and cost competitive as more traditional electricity supply by 2015. The research will explore ways to reduce the amount of silicon required to manufacture solar cells, increase their efficiency and develop new distribution and financing mechanisms to install them more cheaply. If Congress approves, the DOE could commit up to $7.5 million for Phase I of the BP Solar project, and as much as $19.1 million over three years if the team meets its goals.

Allison Connolly

Acquisitions

Williams Scotsman to buy 2 companies

Williams Scotsman Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Honolulu-based Hawaii Modular Space and its sister company, Alaska Modular Space of Anchorage, for $42.5 million. The purchase would add 1,300 units to the Baltimore county's fleet of more than 115,000 mobile offices and modular spaces. The deal could be worth an additional $3 million if the acquired companies meet certain financial targets.

Allison Connolly

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