Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc., an Arlington investment firm, returned to profitability in the second quarter, posting earnings of $5.85 million (12 cents a share) on revenue of $40.4 million.

The quarterly profit was down from the $7.4 million (15 cents) the firm earned on revenue of $57.3 million in the second quarter of last year, but it was a big improvement over the three previous quarters. FBR only broke even in the first quarter of this year and lost $39.2 million in the last half of 1998 after suffering big losses when technology stocks crashed last summer.

Investment-banking fees were FBR's biggest source of revenue for the quarter, but at $15 million they made up only one-third of the $45.9 million the firm took in last year, when it was one of the nation's most active underwriters of new stock issues. Institutional brokerage revenue fell about $1.2 million, to $10.7 million, while asset-management fees grew by $200,000, to $2.5 million.

For the first half of 1999, FBR earned $5.9 million (12 cents), down from $23 million (46 cents) in the first half of last year.

FBR's stock closed yesterday at $11.62 1/2, up 68 3/4 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Atlantic Coast Airlines Holdings Inc., parent of Atlantic Coast Airlines, reported an almost 22 percent increase in earnings for the second quarter, to $11.1 million (51 cents a share), from $9.1 million (42 cents) for the same period last year.

The Dulles-based regional airline reported a 22 percent increase in total operating revenue, to $90.9 million, from $74.8 million in the second quarter of 1998.

As the airline continued to bring regional jets into service, 54 percent of its available seat miles were flown by jets, compared with 35 percent in the second quarter of 1998.

Atlantic Coast's stock price closed yesterday, unchanged, at $20 a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

Black & Decker Corp., the world's largest producer of power tools and accessories, said its second-quarter profit was $70.7 million (80 cents a share), a 30 percent increase from $54.2 million (57 cents) for the same period in 1998. The 40 percent growth in earnings per share resulted from a lower number of shares outstanding due to a stock-repurchase program and lower restructuring-related costs.

The Towson, Md.-based company said its total sales declined to $1.08 billion, from $1.17 billion for the same period last year, because of business divestitures and the effects of foreign currency exchanges.

For the first six months of 1999, the company said its profit was a record $109.9 million ($1.24), while in the first half of 1998, the company had a net loss of $913 million. The company said the increase is due to lower restructuring-related costs, operating improvements and lower average outstanding shares.

Black & Decker stock closed yesterday at $61.62 1/2, down 37 1/2 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Integrated Health Services Inc. of Owings Mills, Md., reported that it lost $4.6 million during the second quarter, compared with a profit of $41.5 million (76 cents a share) during the second quarter of 1998.

Revenue fell 15.6 percent, to $625.4 million, from $740.9 million.

In the past six months, IHS lost $11.2 million, compared with a profit of $79.1 million ($1.77) during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the six-month period fell to $1.2 million from $1.5 million.

The company said its revenue, operating margin, pretax loss and net loss improved over the first quarter.

IHS provides an array of health-care services, including long-term care and rehabilitation therapy. Changes in the federal Medicare program have hurt its business.

The company's stock closed at $5.75 yesterday, up 25 cents, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

MicroStrategy Inc. of Vienna, a provider of business intelligence software, reported higher earnings in the second quarter from an increase in contracts from new customers and successful start-up of the first personal intelligence network. The company said its net revenue increased 92 percent, to $45.6 million, from $23.8 million the same quarter last year. MicroStrategy's net income increased 241 percent, to $3.2 million (8 cents a share), from $942,000 (3 cents) in the year-earlier period.

MicroStrategy shares closed yesterday at $38.43 3/4, up 81 1/4 cents, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Provident Bankshares Corp. of Baltimore said net income increased 13 percent in the second quarter because of strong loan and deposit growth.

The company said it earned $11 million (42 cents a share) for the three months ended June 30, up from $9.7 million (36 cents) for the second quarter of 1998.

For the first half of the year, the bank company said it earned $21.3 million (81 cents), up from $19 million (71 cents) for the first half of 1998.

Provident's stock closed at $23.93 3/4 yesterday, up 6 1/4 cents, in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

US Airways Group Inc. reported a 30 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, reflecting higher labor costs and a drop in ticket sales and excluding a one-time gain from the sale of assets.

The Arlington-based airline reported a net profit of $317 million ($4.26 a share), compared with $194 million ($1.95) for the second quarter of 1998. Excluding the one-time gain, net profit for the quarter was $136 million ($1.83). The one-time gain came from the $274 million sale of the company's interest in the Galileo computer reservation system and $16 million from the sale of other assets.

The second-quarter earnings of $1.83 per share were in line with analysts' expectations, according to a survey by First Call Corp, which tracks the earnings forecasts of analysts. Last month, the airline warned analysts that reduced traffic in May and higher labor costs from its new union contracts would reduce earnings.

Second-quarter operating revenue fell to $2.28 billion, from $2.29 billion in 1998.

US Airways stock closed yesterday at $40 a share, down 50 cents, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

CAPTION: FRIEDMAN, BILLINGS, RAMSEY

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