Three small technology companies whose stocks have long been in the tank bobbed to the top of the list of local stock market winners last week after they finally gave investors good reasons to buy their shares.
Deltek Systems Inc. of McLean reported a 19 percent increase in revenue and a 37 percent jump in quarterly profits, earning $4.4 million (25 cents a share).
Deltek's earnings per share were helped by a 1 million-share buyback the company initiated after its stock plunged into single digits from around $24 a share last year. Deltek went public in February 1997 at $11 and couldn't pass up the chance to buy back the stock for less than that. Now the stock's back up to $14 after gaining more than $4 last week.
Credit Management Solutions Inc. of Annapolis Junction got a boost of better than a buck in its stock price after signing deals with two big Internet car-buying services, Autobytel.com and CarSmart.com. CMS makes systems that process car loan applications very rapidly. Working with Lendingtree.com, the services will provide instant financing for consumers who buy cars online.
BTG Inc., the Fairfax information services company that disappointed investors with paltry penny-a-share profits last summer, bounced back with earnings of 11 cents a share.
Those gains were the best Washington investors could find in an otherwise sorry week for stocks in general and mid-Atlantic stocks in particular. Falling along with the Dow Jones industrial average, the Nasdaq composite index and most other measures of market performance, the Washington Post-Bloomberg Regional Stock Index dropped more than 3 points (1.8 percent), taking back healthly gains scored over the past three weeks.
Technology stocks dragged down the index. Shares of America Online Inc. were down $12, Network Solutions Inc. stock fell $9, and investors in PSINet Inc. lost $5 a share.
The week's worst loser was Fairchild Corp., whose stock dropped more than $2 on Friday after the Dulles company said its earnings will fall short of analysts' estimates. The company did not get specific but said earnings will be "comparable to last year." Fairchild's stock price isn't comparable to last year, however -- it's down to $10 a share from $23.