The initial offering price last year for Insituform East was $7 a share. An incorrect price was listed in a table in last week's Washington Business. In addition, since going public last year, the International Institute of Applied Technology has relocated to Germantown and employes have increased to 15.
In terms of financial markets, 1981 was erratic and nerve-wracking. The bond market collapsed and the stock market was ill, with the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials on the New York Stock Exchange down 9.2 percent and the Standard & Poor's broader index of 400 stocks off 11.2 percent.
And today, when the markets open, the Dow average will be near a low for the past two years at 797.37. That's a skid of 9.99 for last week, and trading volume was heavy.
As Dreyfus Corp. Vice President Monte Gordon said on Friday, traders "still see no signs of compromise being worked out between President Reagan and Congress on the huge proposed budget deficits. And they're apprehensive about larger-than-expected Treasury borrowing, all of which could push interest rates higher."
Money-supply figures won't help: The Federal Reserve reported after the market closed Friday that the basic measure of money supply known as M1 rose $3.4 billion in the latest week--more than some pessimists had forecast. The markets may take another beating as a result.
Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige told a meeting of Washington Post editors and reporters on Friday that the president isn't likely to move toward any compromise on spending and projected deficits until the varied ideas about spending cutbacks have developed into a consensus with which to compromise, or at least until a dozen or so current Capitol Hill views are reduced to a handful.
Thus, many weeks likely will pass before uncertainty that now plagues financial markets is erased. Treasury Secretary Donald Regan's tongue-lashing of Wall Street bond traders last week won't do the job. What the business community and financial markets are looking for is a practical scenario that shows progressive reductions in federal deficits for the next few years, with economists generally in accord on the numbers, Baldridge suggested.
Meanwhile, there are harbingers of better times ahead, even if difficult to find under the weight of negative economic news.
One such barometer, at a time of soaring business failures and bankruptcies, is the number of private corporations raising capital through sales of stock to the public. Despite the sour trends of 1981, it was a record year for initial public stock offerings in terms of the money raised--$3.2 billion.
"The floodgates opened in 1981. . . there were 448 initial public offerings (IPOs) in '81, nearly double 1980's 237, and the 1980 crop raised only $1.4 billion," noted Meredith D. Young, editor of Going Public, a Philadelphia newsletter that tracks new offerings. The previous record was $2.7 billion in 1972, when 568 firms went public.
Of the total counted in Going Public's survey for last year, 15 were based in the Washington region and one other firm was added through a search of Washington Post files; these 16 area companies, mostly scientific and technology ventures, raised almost $100 million from investors throughout the country.
Going Public's survey also pinpointed the Baltimore-based investment firm of Alex. Brown & Sons as the second-largest underwriter of new offerings in 1981, with 13 new issues that raised more than $200 million. L. F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin of New York was first, with 19 issues managed or co-managed and more than $500 million raised.
"The stampede of IPOs in 1981 indicates American entrepreneurial businessmen still recognize going public as a totally acceptable source of capital for their firms," added Joel Lawson III, managing partner of Howard & Co., a corporate finance consulting firm that publishes the newsletter. "Small wonder, considering the year's high interest rates and the real shot in the arm a dose of equity can administer to any business."
According to the newsletter's tabulation, small companies had a large role in the new-issues market. About 40 percent of last year's offerings were by firms starting up (sales of $400,000 or less). At the other end of the scale, 23 percent of the IPOs were older firms with annual profits in excess of $1 million.
The majority of last year's offerings were below the $5 million level and the list is dominated a high technology and oil-gas issues.
At least one area firm planned to sell its stock for the first time last year but got caught in the market decline and the proposed offering is effectively dormant. The company is Minix Ltd., an Annapolis business that microfilms original medical X-rays and markets microfilming and related equipment to hospitals and has annual sales topping $1.5 million.
Among the companies that did go public last year, many saw their initial offering prices reduced in a general stock market decline. Only 36 percent of the firms that went public last year were trading above their offering price at year's end. Of the D.C. region firms, virtually all have declined from the initial trading through last week.
The chart above lists the region's firms that sold stock for the first time last year, the initial prices and quotes last week in the over-the-counter market, plus other details. What follows is a brief description of each firm:
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY: Based in McLean, this small Fairfax County company is developing interactive computer-based education and training programs, to be marketed in industry, academic institutions and government.
SOFTWARE AG INTERNATIONAL: This Reston company raised the most from investors in its offering, among area firms, to expand operations in "off the shelf" computer systems programming packages, which it develops, markets and supports. After a sharp growth in profits, Software AG's earnings fell during the six months ended Nov. 30 and the firm's stock price has declined sharply. Revenues topped $11 million in the recent six months.
GREAT EASTERN ENERGY & DEVELOPMENT CORP. : A Richmond firm that explores for and develops oil and gas properties, with interests in 322 acres of developed properties and more than 300,000 acres that are not developed. Revenues were $373,000 in 1980.
HEMOKINETICS INC. : A Springfield firm (incorporated in D.C.) that is in the development stage, and which expects to conduct research to demonstrate a technology that can yield accurate measurements of blood pressure. If successful, the business would develop and manufacture devices for medical use.
ESSEX CORP. : A large Arlington engineering firm, in business for a dozen years, that relies heavily on government defense contracts. The firm is a major contractor on the Trident submarine program, providing logistics support and planning services. Sales in 1980 were $9.41 million and Essex recently won a $10.9 million Navy contract--the firm's largest ever--to continue Trident work through January 1984.
NUCLEAR SUPPORT SERVICES INC. : A Woodbridge firm that provides a variety of technical services to the nuclear industry. Traditionally, NSS has been most active in providing personnel for radiological protection and instrument maintenance services. Revenues were $17 million in the year ended last Sept. 30.
BALANCE COMPUTER CORP. : Based in Hunt Valley, north of Baltimore, BCC assembles and markets to automotive service and repair facilities a minicomputer system that automatically schedules service and repair jobs, forecasts job completion times and matches job needs to mechanics' skills. Sales were $2.5 million in its initial year, ended April 30, 1980.
MICROS SYSTEMS INC. : Beltsville-based Micros is a pioneer in the high technology point-of-sale industry, manufacturing electronic terminals that perform cash register and data processing functions for hotels, restaurants and other retailers. Sales in the year ended June 28, 1980, were $6.7 million.
BIOTECH RESEARCH LABORATORIES INC. : A Rockville firm on the cutting edge of biomedical research, which has been in business here since 1973. The company's principal business includes cell culture research and it is developing recombinant-DNA technologies. Sales in the nine months ended last Sept. 30 were $1.24 million. Biotech recently signed a three-year affiliation with the Mayo Clinic for medical research and Ethyl Corp. of Richmond purchased 45,000 shares of the company's stock in a $1 million private placement last June.
COMPUTER ENTRY SYSTEMS CORP. : A designer and manufacturer of microprocessor based, electro-mechanical optical character recognition equipment, based in Silver Spring. CES sells to equipment manufacturers who incorporate the reading devices in processing equipment used by banks and retail firms to automatically read checks, for example. Sales topped $5.9 million in 1980.
E.I.L. INSTRUMENTS INC. : A Sparks, Md., firm that distributes, customizes and services instruments for test, measurement and control through 19 nationwide service centers. EIL also manufactures electrical testing and measurement devices for utilities and industry. Sales in the three months ended Jan. 31 were $5.6 million.
INPUT BUSINESS MACHINES INC. : This Gaithersburg firm's equipment "reads" data from documents and converts it to computer language for use in data processing systems, mostly eliminating the need for retyping. Input designs and builds these devices and reported 1980 sales at more than $3 million.
U.S. DESIGN CORP. : A Lanham company that designs and markets a portable, compact and desk-top disk and tape information storage system, with sales for eight months ended Feb. 28, 1981 of $655,000. U.S. Design's system permits information transferral between disks and tape.
DATA MEASUREMENT CORP. : Another Gaithersburg firm, which designs, builds and markets electronic instruments that measure thickness and that detect pinhole flaws in primary products produced by the metals and plastics industries. Sales in the six months ended last June 30 were $1.2 million.
INSITUFORM EAST INC. : Landover-based Insituform East is engaged primarily in repair and rehabilitation of underground sewers, conduits and pipelines using a patented method for relining that involves little excavation or none. Sales for the year ended last June 30 were about $5 million.
SYSCON CORP. : The only District-based firm to offer initial shares last year, Syscon is the largest of the new public companies in terms of annual sales and employes. With revenues of $61 million last year, and a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent in the last decade, Syscon is a major U.S. developer, marketer and manager of computer programming systems. Its customers include the federal and local governments and private industry. The firm was organized here in 1966 and has facilities in 12 states.