Trading in shares of Martin Lawrence Limited Editions has been unusually heavy, possibly sparked in part by the Van Nuys company's announcement that it hired an investment banker.
Why it needs an investment banker isn't clear. The hiring of Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards was announced in a terse, one-sentence press release, and neither Martin Lawrence nor Bateman Eichler would return a reporter's phone calls.
The announcement of the hiring came last Tuesday, but there has been heavy activity in Martin Lawrence stock since the day before, when trading volume in Martin Lawrence reached an unusually high 71,500 shares.
Last week, the daily average trading volume was 56,800 shares. On Monday, the volume hit 92,800. In the previous five days of trading, daily volume averaged just 8,240, according to numbers supplied by MPACT Securities of Austin, Tex.
Stock Price Higher
The stock's price also has risen. Martin Lawrence closed at a bid price of $2.75 on July 11, but as of Monday's close it stood at $3.50, up more than 27%.
Phil Harrison, director of research at Blinder, Robinson & Co. in Englewood, Colo., the company's underwriter, said Martin Lawrence stock is up because the company has shown strong earnings and great promise. But he said he knew nothing about the hiring of Bateman Eichler, and referred inquires on the subject to Martin Lawrence.
Meyer Blinder, president of Blinder, Robinson, is the father of Martin Blinder, president and chief executive of Martin Lawrence.
Martin Lawrence is a chain of mainly suburban art galleries and a publisher of art prints. It reported first-quarter earnings of $153,000, or 4 cents a share, up 81% from the 1985 first quarter. Sales were up 78%, to $2.1 million.