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ORANGE COUNTY EARNINGS

Computer Firm Reports Another Black Ink Quarter

October 17, 1986|ROBERT HANLEY

Computer Automation Inc. reported that the fiscal 1987 first quarter gave it its third consecutive quarterly profit after a four-year losing streak.

The Irvine-based technology firm said operating earnings during the quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $303,000--its second consecutive quarter with an operating profit.

After setting aside $52,000 as a provision for taxes and adding $37,000 in tax-loss credits, the company posted net earnings for the period of $288,000, contrasted with a net loss of $3.5 million a year earlier. Revenues during the quarter rose 8.2% to $5.3 million from $4.9 million.

Although the company did not announce its earnings until late Thursday, Computer Automation shares gained $1 in over-the-counter trading to close at $3.50 a share, apparently in anticipation of the news.

The 40% increase in Computer Automation's market value represented the largest single gain recorded among over-the-counter stocks Thursday. About 4.7% of the company's 2 million outstanding shares changed hands.

A record number of Computer Automation shares were traded Tuesday when its largest holder, Cincinnati-based American Financial Corp., liquidated its 19% stake in the company, reportedly for tax purposes.

Company officials said the 395,000-share block held by American Financial was purchased--at an unchanged $2.50 a share--by two investment partnerships in a transaction handled by the San Francisco investment banking firm of Hambrecht & Quist Inc.

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