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California | EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Kaiser 3rd-Quarter Profit Ends 3 Years of Losses

October 31, 2000|SHARON BERNSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After three years of losses, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan & Hospitals expects to end its 2000 fiscal year in the black and said Monday that it had earned $180 million in net income in its third quarter.

By contrast, in the same quarter last year, Kaiser lost $29 million; it finished the year with a net loss of $6 million.

"We feel good, but the race isn't won yet," said Kaiser spokeswoman Beverly Hayon.

Revenue rose to $4.4 billion from $4.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Dale Crandall, president of the giant health maintenance organization, credited the improvement to a turnaround plan that was set in place in early 1999, after Oakland-based Kaiser lost more than $500 million in a two-year period.

Under that plan, nonprofit Kaiser delayed work on much-needed capital improvements and divested money-losing operations on the East Coast.

In California, Kaiser extricated itself from expensive contracts with outside hospitals and refocused its efforts on its core HMO operations. However, Crandall cautioned that Kaiser now faces large expenditures to upgrade hospitals and clinics, perform state-required seismic work on its buildings and set much-needed computer systems in place.

At a Glance

Other California company earnings, excluding one-time gains and charges unless noted:

* EToys Inc. said its fiscal second-quarter loss grew to $60 million, or 48 cents a share, from $44.9 million or 38 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose to $26 million from $13.3 million, in line with the $26.2-million forecast of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

The Santa Monica-based Internet toy retailer said its loss before costs related to deferred compensation and amortization was $41.8 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $32.1 million, or 27 cents, a year earlier. On that basis it was expected to lose 35 cents.

EToys said it expects fiscal third-quarter revenue of $210 million to $240 million, or less than the $253.5-million average First Call forecast. It said gross margin, or the percentage of sales remaining after product costs are subtracted, will be between 22% and 24%.

EToys said the amount spent to acquire one customer fell to $26 each from the $36 average during the last 12 months and that it is planning to distribute its first catalog before the holidays.

The results were released after the close of U.S. markets. Shares fell 9 cents to close at $3.75 on Nasdaq. (Bloomberg News)

* American States Water Co., based in San Dimas, reported third-quarter operating income of $8.2 million, or 84 cents per share, compared with $6.7 million, or 74 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 7.1% to $55.2 million.

* Canoga Park-based Qualstar Corp. reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $2.3 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with $1.9 million, or 20 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 21% to $13.9 million. The company had fewer shares outstanding in the latest quarter.

* Spieker Properties Inc., a Menlo Park-based commercial real estate investment trust, said third-quarter funds from operations rose 30% to $85.3 million, or $1.10 a share, from $65.7 million, or 87 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $194.1 million from $164.6 million. Results beat analysts' estimates of $1.06.

* Santa Ana-based Starbase Corp. said its operating loss widened to $1.41 million, or 3 cents a share, in its fiscal second quarter, from $1.14 million, or 4 cents, a year ago, while revenue jumped 127% to $3.71 million. The company had fewer shares outstanding in its latest quarter.

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