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Company Profiles

THE TIMES 100: AN INVESTOR'S GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA'S
PUBLIC COMPANIES

May 05, 1998|Bob Bedolla | Bob Bedolla is a freelance writer in San Francisco

3Dfx Interactive Inc. (TDFX), San Jose: The company makes the devices known as graphics accelerators, which are used in producing the graphics on personal computers and coin-operated arcade games. 3Dfx sells most of its product to original equipment manufacturers, including Diamond Multimedia Systems, Elitetron Electronic and Orchid Technology, which together account for 60% of its sales.

Times Mirror Co. (TMC), Los Angeles: Times Mirror is the media company that is the parent of the Los Angeles Times, the nation's fourth-largest newspaper in circulation, as well as of six other daily newspapers, including the Baltimore Sun and Newsday of Long Island, N.Y. The company also is the publisher of a number of magazines, such as Field & Stream and Popular Science. Times Mirror has sold several of its subsidiaries in recent years, such as cable TV and book publishing interests--and plans to sell others, including its legal and medical publishing units--in order to focus its resources on publishing newspapers, magazines and training materials.

Tivoli Industries Inc. (TVLI), Santa Ana: Produces low-voltage tube lighting marine and vehicular lighting and energy-efficient lamps. The company also makes lights for movie theaters, casinos, aircraft, theme parks and construction projects.

Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TTNP), South San Francisco: A biotechnology company with several treatments in development for cancer and central nervous system disorders. Although its sales revenue remains low, some of its treatments are considered promising, particularly Iloperidone, a proposed drug treatment for schizophrenia. Swiss drug giant Novartis has paid a multimillion-dollar licensing fee to manufacture and market Iloperidone.

Transamerica Corp. (TA), San Francisco: A major U.S. financial services company (perhaps best known for its landmark pyramid-shaped tower downtown San Francisco). Transamerica started as a holding company for Bank of America. The company's largest business is life insurance, but it also is a big player in annuities, mutual funds, reinsurance and Medicare processing. It is also involved in real estate-related businesses, including data management and flood hazard consulting. Last year it sold its non-mortgage lending businesses--with 400 offices--to Household International.

Unilab Corp. (ULB), Tarzana: The company does medical testing for doctors and hospitals throughout California, at centralized full-service laboratories.

United Television Inc. (UTVI), Beverly Hills: Operates three very-high-frequency, or VHF, TV stations and two ultra-high-frequency, or UHF, TV stations in California, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and Utah. One station is an ABC affiliate, one is an NBC affiliate, and the rest are independent stations affiliated with UPN.

Unocal Corp. (UCL), El Segundo: Develops crude oil and natural gas properties, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and Asia. Unocal has sold its California-based refining and marketing operations, including its refineries and its 76 brand gas stations. Unocal is also the world's leading producer of geothermal energy, and it manufactures chemicals for the agricultural and industrial markets.

Unova Inc. (UNA), Beverly Hills: Unova, spun off from industrial technology company Western Atlas in October, is the unit of Western Atlas that was not involved in the oil services industry. It makes and sells automated data collection and mobile computing systems, and also designs automobile manufacturing systems. The spinoff created one of the largest companies in Southern California, with a market value of about $1.1 billion. Unova bought two smaller machine tool companies this year as part of its plan to increase the number of smaller customers and thus reduce its reliance on large contracts.

Uroquest Medical Corp.(UROQ), Menlo Park: Develops and markets products that diagnose and manage male and female urological disorders.

Varian Associates Inc. (VAR), Palo Alto: Makes high-tech systems and components for medical and industrial uses. Among the company's products are radiation equipment used to treat cancer, X-ray tubes, analytical instruments, vacuum pumps and specialized machines used in semiconductor manufacturing.

Veritas Software Corp. (VRTS), Mountain View: Makes software that guards networks against data loss from crashes and errors, speeds data recovery after failures and manages corporate information storage.

Vista Information Solutions Inc. (VINF), San Diego: Provides risk management information, software and other services to companies interested in specific environmental and insurance underwriting information.

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