Shares of Primus Telecommunications Group Inc. of McLean went into orbit last week after the international long-distance phone company announced plans to add a squadron of satellites to its fiber-optic network that spans 29 countries.
The satellite service will go into operation within six months, bringing another 80 countries into its service area, the company said. The announcement added more than $6 to its stock price.
Primus executives, meeting with investors in New York, said the company expects to have $1 billion in revenue this year, just three years after going public, but will not become profitable until 2002. Primus plans to sell $200 million worth of high-risk, high-yield "junk" bonds next week to finance its expansion.
The week's other big market winners included Transaction Network Services Inc., the stock of which jumped $10 a share after the company agreed to be acquired by PSINet Inc., and Digene Corp., shares of which gained more than $2 after it reported a 45 percent increase in revenues and a 34 percent smaller loss.
The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index, which represents shares of more than 200 companies based in the District, Maryland and Virginia, was down only slightly last week, sliding to 169.97 from 170.09.
At the opposite end of the performance rankings for the week, shares of American Woodmark Inc., the Winchester-based cabinet maker, and Excalibur Technologies Corp., a Vienna data-retrieval software company, slipped after their quarterly earnings reports were released.
American Woodmark was a victim of its own success. Revenue for the quarter grew 30 percent, to $94.2 million, but profit inched up less than 10 percent. The company said that to keep up with demand it had to outsource some work, pay more overtime and hire workers who are less productive.