Xybernaut Corp. of Fairfax has slowly become the little company that might. Despite signs earlier this fall that it might not live to see its wearable computers reach a mass market, investors, at least, are giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Boosted by an announcement that models will strut its computer couture for the Ford Motor Co. at the International Auto Show, which started last week in Detroit, the company's stock jumped 86.5 percent last week to close Friday at $10.37 1/2.
Of course, this was not the first time the company's stock spiked after a sexy announcement, only to tumble again until the next flashy news. Fundamentally speaking, Xybernaut has been slow to move its products out of the showroom and onto the road. Last week, however, the company announced that it had shipped $250,000 of its wearable PCs to an Israeli company.
This fall, Xybernaut's former auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, raised doubts that the company could continue as a "going concern." Xybernaut fired the auditor in September.
Netrix Corp., having another good week, was up almost 34 percent at $23.31 1/4. The Herndon company, the result of two similar companies merging in December, received a favorable recommendation from a Florida analyst this week.
Baltimore's Prime Retail Inc., at $4.12 1/2, was off 34 percent on fears the outlet mall developer would cut its dividend.
Despite an announcement that New River Capital Partners, a Fort Lauderdale private equity fund, has invested $2.2 million in the Herndon company, the stock of ITC Learning Corp. dropped 28 percent last week to close at $2.68 3/4. ITC Learning President Christopher E. Mack said in a statement the capital would strengthen the company's financial position and give it access to strong leadership.
America Online Inc.'s stock, probably the most watched last week, took a beating after the company announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire Time Warner Inc. Its stock closed down 14 percent Friday at $63.18 3/4.
Still, the region's stocks as a whole fared well, led once again by its heavy concentration of technology stocks. The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index closed at an all-time high of 187.43, up from 182.81 the week before.