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'Record-Breaking' '86 Predicted : Ultrasystems Announces 33% Dividends Increase

February 06, 1986|BRUCE HOROVITZ | Times Staff Writer

With its chief executive projecting a "record-breaking" fiscal 1986, Ultrasystems Inc. on Wednesday announced a year-end dividend of 8 cents per share, the largest paid since the Irvine-based engineering and construction company went public in 1981.

The dividend, payable Feb. 28, 1986, to shareholders of record as of Feb. 14, 1986, is a 33% increase over last year's dividend of 6 cents a share.

"We're expecting our best year ever," said Phillip J. Stevens, president and chairman of the 17-year-old company. Later this month, he said, the company expects to announce contracts totaling $200 million for four separate power-plant projects in California.

In two weeks, the company is scheduled to begin marketing its newest product, a micro-cogeneration unit about the size of a refrigerator, which will convert natural gas into low-cost electricity, Stevens said.

The "multibillion-dollar market" for that product would include everything from coin-operated laundries to fast-food restaurants, Stevens said.

"It will be as exciting to the power industry as the personal computer was to the computer industry," Stevens said.

In the most recently completed quarter, Ultrasystems reported record net income, up 104% from the year-ago period. Net income for the third fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31, 1985, was $3.18 million compared with $1.56 million for the year-earlier period.

Operating earnings for the quarter, however, were up just 12%. The profits primarily came from the sale of its shares in two wood-fired power plants.

Ultrasystems has mapped its 1986 corporate strategy around the assumption that all energy tax credits will expire. As a result, Stevens said, Ultrasystems plans to build bigger power plants that are more cost-effective.

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