#1. BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC CO.
Gas and Electric Building, Charles Center P.O. Box 1475 Baltimore, Md. 21203 REVENUE: $1.8 billion PROFITS: $247.3 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.80 DIVIDEND: $1.67 1/2 ASSETS: $4.2 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $1.5 billion RETURN ON EQUITY: 14.9 percent EXCHANGE: NYSE, Midwest, Pacific EMPLOYES: 9,000 TOP EXECUTIVES: Bernard C. Trueschler, chairman; George V. McGowan, president. FOUNDED: 1816
DESCRIPTION: BG&E is an investor-owned utility that produces and sells electricity and purchases and sells natural gas in Baltimore City, the surrounding metropolitan area and countryside, and the Chesapeake Bay area.
DEVELOPMENTS: BG&E's revenue remained constant in 1985, while profits increased 1 percent to $247.3 million ($2.80 a share) from $244 million ($2.77) the year before. Chairman Treuschler said that, while the economy in Maryland remained strong in 1985, a reduction in gas and electricity sales to steel-producing customers and milder than normal weather conditions in both winter-heating and summer-cooling seasons acted to hold earnings below company expectations. Total electric sales were up 2.4 percent, residential sales increased 2.7 percent, and the number of electric househeating customers increased by 16 percent.
Natural-gas sales decreased 4.5 percent this year compared with 1984 because of mild weather. But BG&E's revenue for the transport of natural gas for industrial customers increased by 33 percent because of new federal rules meant to open up competition in natural-gas markets. In 1985, the company also settled a case at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning Columbia Gas Transmission Corp.'s purchasing practices. That settlement should reduce gas prices by $64 million.
This year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission extended the license of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. But the NRC faulted the company for not testing a post-accident radiation sampling system and fined BG&E $50,000. The company has since found the existing system inadequate and has asked for approval to replace the system with a new one. The company said the problem did not require a plant shutdown or involve the release of any radiation. In 1985, BG&E also became the first utility to ask that the emergency warning zone around the plant be reduced from a 10-mile to a two-mile radius. The NRC has deferred consideration of that request until its new rules are implemented.
BG&E named diversification its top priority in 1985 and, on the first day of 1986, consolidated its diversified investment, property and biogas subsidiaries into a separate corporate entity called Constellation Holdings Inc. #3. CROWN CENTRAL PETROLEUM CORP.
1 N. Charles St. Baltimore, Md. 21203 REVENUE: $1.5 billion PROFITS: $4.1 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: 46 cents DIVIDEND: $1.92 (Series A preferred only) ASSETS: $484.3 million STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $217.6 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 1.9 percent EXCHANGE: Amex EMPLOYES: 3,011 TOP EXECUTIVES: Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., chairman; W. M. Ginder, president. FOUNDED: 1923
DESCRIPTION: Crown Central is an independent producer, refiner and marketer of petroleum products. It is engaged in domestic oil and gas exploration and operates a 100,000-barrel-per-day refinery on the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. It also has subsidiaries in the convenience-store industry.
DEVELOPMENTS: Crown Central's revenue dropped 8.5 percent in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, largely a reflection of a drop in production and depressed gasoline prices. However, the company was able to show a dramatic increase in net income as a result of various cost-savings measures and the sale last year of oil-producing properties in California that resulted in an $18 million gain. Net income for fiscal 1985 was eight times the $504,000 reported for the previous year.
To improve bottom-line performance last year, the company suspended dividends on common stock; cut and reorganized staff; trimmed its capital budget, operating costs and administrative expenses; and reduced inventory levels.
The company announced in April that it had made final an agreement with British Petroleum Co. to acquire 81 BP service stations in Maryland and Delaware. About 20 of the stations are being sold to dealers and other parties and 60 in Maryland are being refurbished as Crown Central stations. The move is expected to double Crown Central's share of the Maryland gasoline market, from 5.6 percent to 11 percent. Before the acquisition, Crown Central operated 46 service stations in Maryland. #2. BLACK & DECKER CORP.
701 E. Joppa Rd. Towson, Md. 21204 REVENUE: $1.7 billion LOSS: $158.4 million LOSS PER SHARE: $3.11 DIVIDEND: 64 cents ASSETS: $1.45 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $504.8 million RETURN ON EQUITY: NA EXCHANGE: NYSE EMPLOYES: 22,400 TOP EXECUTIVES: Laurence J. Farley, chairman; Nolan D. Archibald, president and chief executive officer. FOUNDED: 1910
DESCRIPTION: Black & Decker, one of the nation's premier home power-tool manufacturers, bought the small-appliance division of General Electric Co. in 1984. It is in the process of changing the GE logo to a Black & Decker logo.
DEVELOPMENTS: The tool and appliance manufacturer has faced severe financial problems during the last several years. It is burdened by competition in its traditional lines and the cost of acquiring and assimilating the GE line. The 1985 loss, for the fiscal year that ended in September, included a $205 million writeoff for a restructuring program of layoffs, plant closings and refurbishments.
Although the company says that its cost-restructuring programs are well under way, sales and profits continue to slump. Its first-quarter earnings were down 28 percent from the year earlier, while, in the second quarter, the company was marginally profitable. It has until the middle of 1987 to change the logos on the small appliances -- such as toaster ovens and coffee makers -- from GE to Black & Decker. Analysts say that the real test for the GE acquisition will come then, when Black & Decker must market the products under its own name rather than that of the former leader in the small-appliance field. The company also has undergone management changes. Nolan D. Archibald -- who joined Black & Decker last September after having served as president of the consumer products division of Beatrice Cos. Inc. -- replaced Laurence J. Farley as chief executive officer earlier this year. Farley remains chairman of the board. Archibald, during the several months he was chief operating officer, hired new executives to run several Black & Decker departments, including the U.S. household products and power tools group. #4. MCCORMICK & CO. INC.
11350 McCormick Rd. Hunt Valley, Md. 21031 REVENUE: $873 million PROFITS: $27.8 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.27 DIVIDEND: 88 cents ASSETS: $582 million STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $261 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 11.3 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 7,459 TOP EXECUTIVES: Harry K. Wells, chairman and chief executive officer; Hillsman V. Wilson, president and chief operating officer. FOUNDED: 1889
DESCRIPTION: McCormick & Co., a diversified speciality food company, processes products at 52 facilities throughout the world, sells them in 84 countries, and is a global leader in marketing, manufacturing and distributing seasoning, flavoring and food products to retail food outlets, food-service firms and food processors.
A packaging group manufactures and markets plastic bottles and tubes for food, personal care and other industries. McCormick Properties Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is a diversified real estate investment builder. It develops, leases and manages business communities and office and industrial buildings. A construction subsidiary markets "design/build" and construction management services.
Since 1932, the company says, it "has thrived with Multiple Management -- a system of management and management development -- which, along with enlightened leadership, helped shape our corporate culture. Multiple Management encourages a belief in the 'power of people,' recognizes the dignity of the individual, the dynamics of human relationships, the need for participation at all levels of employment, and the importance of sharing the rewards of success."
DEVELOPMENTS: In the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, consolidated net sales rose 11 percent, to $873 million. Earnings declined almost 50 percent, to $27.8 million from $54.6 million, but the 1984 figure included income from the sale of improved properties by an unconsolidated real estate subsidiary.
Chairman Wells and President Wilson said in the annual report that "1985 was a year of strategic renewal and restructuring. While we did not achieve all of our performance objectives, we can report a strong year of growth and accomplishment." As a result of restructuring, the company issued a "strategy statement" late last year in which the high points included:
Greater emphasis on asset growth and cash flow in the real estate sector.
Periodic conversions of "significant portions" of McCormick Properties' real properties into cash for the parent company.
An ongoing share-repurchase program.
"A commitment to sustained reductions in costs and overhead structure to support the growth of the food and packaging groups. To the extent possible, these funds will be used to take advantage of attractive opportunities to improve long-term profits."
Last fall, McCormick launched a 103-item Gourmet Spice line (under the Schilling label in the western United States). #5. PHH GROUP INC.
11333 McCormick Rd. Hunt Valley, Md. 21031 REVENUE: $700 million PROFITS: $40.8 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.56 DIVIDEND: 88 cents ASSETS: $2.2 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $239 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 18 percent EXCHANGE: NYSE EMPLOYES: 3,200 TOP EXECUTIVES: Jerome W. Geckle, chairman and chief executive officer; Robert D. Kunisch, president and chief operating officer. FOUNDED: 1946
DESCRIPTION: PHH Group serves more than 2,000 corporations by managing their fleets of cars, helping relocate their employes and flying their executive planes. Since it was founded 40 years ago as Peterson, Howell and Heather, the group has spawned a number of member companies to provide vehicle, relocation and aviation services throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
PHH's groups include Homequity and Homequity Ltd., which provide relocation services for nearly 35,000 transferred employes; Fantus, which offers new location studies; a mortgage corporation; NTS, which purchases diesel fuel; and Aviation Consulting, which offers flight information.
DEVELOPMENTS: PHH called fiscal 1985 one of the most exciting years in its 39-year history. For the year ended April 30, 1985, the firm surpassed the $2 billion mark in assets, double the company's size five years ago, and revenue jumped 32 percent over l984 and exceeded $700 million -- nearly three times the revenue of five years ago. Profits for 1985 rose 12 percent.
PHH reported a less impressive growth for the nine months ended Jan. 31, 1986. Earnings rose slightly to $30.4 million ($1.90 per share) from $29.9 million ($1.88). Revenue increased 35 percent during that period, from $487 million to $662 million.
PHH attributed the slump for the first nine months of fiscal 1986 to substantial investments at its mortgage company in the development of new mortgage products and systems for client relocation needs. In addition, Homequity's contributions were affected by a reduced number of relocations, lower inventory levels and reduced investment income because of lower interest rates.
During fiscal 1985, PHH added three new companies, which had the immediate effect of adding 7,000 annual relocations and 140 new corporations to PHH's client base. Late in the year, PHH announced it would build a new headquarters in the United Kingdom and that it had opened an office in Ireland.
PHH reported recently that operations in the United Kingdom and Canada have experienced excellent growth in earnings, units and new clients. Home sales and the number of vehicles managed in the United Kingdom have doubled over last year.
A lawsuit filed November 1985 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is pending against PHH for alleged discrimination against blacks and women in recruitment and hiring. The company denies the charges.