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Area Firms' Stocks Fall With Market for Quarter

October 07, 1986|JAMES BATES | Times Staff Writer

The prices of stocks of nearly all of the largest publicly held companies in the San Fernando Valley area fell sharply during the third quarter, reflecting the market's overall decline.

Of the 67 Valley area stocks tracked for The Times by MPACT Securities of Austin, Tex., 57 dropped in price in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30. Another eight stocks showed gains, and two were unchanged.

The losers were spread across various industries and the declines often were steep, with 47 of the stocks skidding more than 10%. Included in the survey were stocks of public companies that have their headquarters or more than 2,000 workers in the area from Burbank to Camarillo.

During the third quarter, the major stock market indicators showed declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the most closely watched market gauge, closed at 1767.58 on Sept. 30, off 6.6% from its June 30 close.

The Nasdaq composite index of stocks traded over-the-counter, the market for most Valley-area stocks, dropped 13.5%, to 350.67. MPACT's index of Valley-area stocks, a gauge that weighs all of the local equities equally, fell 14.8%, to 104.30. The Valley index was up 4.3%, however, from 100 on Dec. 31.

Tandon Biggest Loser

Tandon, the struggling Chatsworth company that is diversifying into personal computer manufacturing, was the biggest loser among Valley-area companies. Its stock, traded over-the-counter, plunged 61.2%, to $2.38. During the quarter, Tandon announced a $20.3-million loss for its third quarter ended June 29.

Two companies in the volatile stereo equipment business also were among the biggest losers. One was Marantz, a Chatsworth concern that imports stereo equipment made in Japan and that has been hit hard by the recent rise in the value of the yen. It was the third-biggest loser with, a 51.6% decline, to $3.63, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Verit Industries, a Sun Valley speaker manufacturer whose stock skyrocketed in the first six months of the year, was off 44.7% in the third quarter, to $9.88, on the American Stock Exchange. Verit's stock, the fifth-biggest loser in the quarter, still is up 19.8% since the beginning of 1986.

SFE Technologies, a San Fernando electronics company that is losing money amid an industrywide slump, was the area's second-biggest loser with a 56.8% decline, to $3.13. Hamburger Hamlets, a Sherman Oaks-based restaurant chain that reported an 80% drop in profit for the first quarter ended June 29, showed the fourth-biggest decline, falling 47.6%, to $4.

In general, the stocks posting increases were those of fledgling companies with little or no earnings. The gainers also generally were stocks that trade at less than $10 a share.

The leading gainer was Digitext, a small Thousand Oaks concern that makes computer keyboard systems for taking shorthand. The stock climbed 63.6%, to $9, even though Digitext posted a $689,352 loss in the first quarter ended June 30. Digitext disclosed Monday that it is negotiating to have its equipment distributed by Wang Laboratories and to sell securities to the computer maker based in Lowell, Mass.

American Nucleonics was up 21%, to $2.88, in the quarter, making it the fourth-biggest gainer. Cleveland-based Eaton announced two weeks ago that it would pay $23.7 million, or $3.03 a share, for the Westlake Village maker of military electronics equipment.

Others in Top 5 Named

Others in the top five were: California Amplifier, a struggling Camarillo maker of components for satellite-dish systems, which ranked second with a 50.7% rise, to $1.13; Computer Memories, a former disk-drive maker that is liquidating assets, which was third with a 22.9% increase, to $2.31; and Martin Lawrence, a chain of art galleries that reported record earnings of $279,000 for the quarter ended June 30, which was fifth with a 7.4% rise, to $2.75.

Micropolis, a Chatsworth disk-drive maker whose stock has been one of the strongest among local companies, rose 6.1%, to $17.38, in the quarter on the strength of a ninefold increase in profits to $4.4 million in the quarter ended June 27. Micropolis' shares were up 98.6% over the first nine months of the year.

Some companies whose shares had been Wall Street favorites early this year declined sharply in the quarter. Walt Disney, whose stock doubled in the first six months of the year, to $54.75 a share, was off 27.9% in the third quarter, to $39.50. The stock, however, was still up 40.0% for the first three quarters.

Another one-time favorite, Cherokee Group, fell 30.0% in the third quarter, to $21. The company's stock still is up 121.1% since Dec. 31.

For the first nine months of the year, gainers slightly outnumbered losers among Valley-area stocks. Of the 67 local stocks tracked by MPACT, 36 were up over the nine months, 30 were down and one was unchanged.

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