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InSight Health Weighs Sale as Quarterly Profit Doubles

February 02, 2001|MARC BALLON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

InSight Health Services Corp., benefiting from booming demand for MRIs, CT scans and its other diagnostic imaging services, said Thursday that its quarterly profit had doubled. But it also disclosed that it may be putting itself on the sale block.

InSight said it has hired a financial advisor to help explore a possible sale, merger or other options. The Newport Beach-based company's stock has climbed nearly 80% over the last year, and executives have made no secret that investors might be willing to unload the business at the right price.

InSight decided to test the waters because of the general strength of the health-care sector, coupled with the company's own strong financial performance, Chief Executive Steven Plochocki said. "The board believes it's a great opportunity to explore how best to maximize shareholder value," he said.

General Electric Co. and Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, own 67% of InSight's shares.

On Thursday, the company's stock hit a 52-week high of $12.13 a share before closing at $11.44, up 94 cents in Nasdaq trading.

For its fiscal second quarter, InSight earned nearly $3 million, or 31 cents a share, up from $1.3 million, or 14 cents, a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 rose 12% to $51.8 million.

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