DID YOU HEAR? . . .
"The reaction has been consistent from the start, and it was consistently negative and visceral."
-- Mark Fleischmann, a senior writer with Etown.com, about Circuit City's decision to abandon Divx video-rental technology.
Sodexho Marriott Services Inc., the Gaithersburg-based food and facilities management company, is making it easier for shareholders to buy stock.
The company's 62 million shares of outstanding common stock include more than 50,000 registered individual shareholder accounts. These small shareholders are reluctant to buy or sell their stock because of the cost of brokerage commissions and the inconvenience of buying or selling in small amounts. Through a program administered by Shareholder Communications Corp., any shareholder owning fewer than 100 shares may either sell his holdings or purchase additional shares for $1.50 per transaction, up to a maximum of $30 per account.
Sodexho Marriott says it will not be buying or selling any shares. Shareholders eligible for the program will be notified by mail, and will have until July 19 to participate.
-- Judith Evans
DHR International of Chicago announced it will make Washington its East Coast headquarters and has named Stephen A. Hayes, head of the Washington office, vice chairman. DHR is an executive search firm with 42 offices worldwide. The company chose Washington as its East Coast hub in part because of the area's fast-growing high-technology sector, senior consultant Stephen Leo said.
Hold That Mail
Put off till tomorrow what you don't want to pay for today? Star Technologies Inc., a Potomac-based image and processing software company, has rescheduled its annual meeting from June to September to save money, at least for the time being.
It's not clear how much the company is saving by not mailing the annual report, proxy statement and other materials to its stockholders, who own 22 million outstanding shares in Star Technologies. A company spokesman didn't return a phone call for comment.
"With no significant shareholder actions on the agenda, Star company executives felt it was prudent to postpone the meeting and the costly proxy mailing for approximately three months," the company said a press release.
Star Technologies, whose shares trade on the over-the-counter market, provides high-quality data, document and image capturing services to the federal government and corporations. Although the company lost $500,000 in the first quarter, it was less than half the loss posted for the same period a year ago. However, two days after the company postponed the shareholder meeting, the trading of Star Technologies shares was suspended.
Maybe the company's stockholders will get some answers today at a Year-in-Review meeting with executives, which Star Technologies decided would go on as scheduled at the Best Western Washington Gateway in Rockville. Robert Compton, CEO and president, said in a statement, "We did not want to disappoint shareholders who had made plans to attend."
-- Judith Evans