John Hanson Savings & Loan stock is expected to sell for between $6.50 and $8 a share -- or a maximum of $19.2 million -- when the Beltsville S&L makes its first public offering, according to a revised preliminary circular issued yesterday by the firm's investment bankers.

The expected per-share value of the pending offer, which is expected to begin no sooner than Thursday, varies only slightly from the $6 to $7 the S&L said in February it expected to get for its shares in the open market. The offering is being underwritten by Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. and Johnston, Lemon & Co. Inc.

The small variation comes despite a recent offer from Baltimore Bancorp, a Maryland bank holding company, to buy Hanson for $15 a share, or $36 million.

The offer was made March 5 and rejected the same day by Hanson management, which said a majority of its shareholders indicated they would vote against selling Hanson to the bank holding company.

Hanson officers, directors and general counsel own 56.8 percent of the S&L. Local bank industry sources said the thrift institution's management does not want to merge for fear of losing their jobs, but Hanson's chairman and chief executive, Charles A. Dukes Jr., has said the thrift simply wants to remain independent.

Hanson officials have said that one reason the thrift is raising money in the public sector is to retire $11.3 million in notes that it received last summer from Maryland. The notes boosted Hanson's net worth -- the difference between assets and liabilities -- so that it could meet requirements to obtain federal insurance for the accounts of its depositors.

Baltimore Bancorp's primary holdings are the Bank of Baltimore and the Municipal Savings and Loan Association. It has assets of $2.1 billion and 20 branch offices in Maryland.

John Hanson has assets of $600 million and 23 branches in eastern and southern Maryland.