Federal Realty Investment Trust, a Rockville retail real estate company, said payments to its former chief executive led to a decline in its fourth-quarter profit.

Federal Realty earned $2.8 million in the quarter, compared with $17.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Included in the most recent quarter's results were $13.8 million in one-time expenses associated with the resignation of CEO Steven J. Guttman, who accelerated his planned departure from the company to Jan. 1.

After preferred dividends, the company's loss per share was 5 cents, compared with earnings per share of 35 cents a year earlier. Quarterly revenue rose to $89.4 million from $78.5 million.

For the year, Federal Realty earned $55.3 million (85 cents) on revenue of $318.8 million. It earned $68.8 million ($1.52) on revenue of $295.1 million in 2001.

* MeriStar Hospitality Corp., a D.C.-based hotel real estate investment trust, said that its losses for the fourth quarter of 2002 were double what they were a year earlier. The company also said it would not pay a dividend this year.

MeriStar said the economic slump is leading to fewer travelers.

MeriStar lost $124.9 million ($2.76 per share), compared with a loss of $61.8 million ($1.37) in the same period of 2001. Revenue increased 3.8 percent, to $229.9 million.

Funds from operations were $9.6 million, compared with $14.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The company's earnings included several one-time charges, including a $63.4 million write-down of hotels it is trying to sell, a $30.5 million charge for hotels it sold and a $14.5 million charge to write down notes receivable from its sister hotel-management company, Interstate Hotels & Resorts of the District

"We all thought this year's fourth quarter would be double-digit growth, but it wasn't," said Donald D. Olinger, MeriStar's chief financial officer.

For the year, MeriStar lost $161.2 million ($3.59), compared with a loss of $43.3 million (97 cents) the previous year. Annual revenue fell 7 percent, to $983.5 million.

* Mid Atlantic Medical Services Inc., one of the Washington area's largest health insurers, reported large fourth-quarter increases in earnings and revenue as membership grew by 144,500 and revenue from premiums soared 29 percent over the same period in 2001.

MAMSI said it earned $37.6 million (91 cents per share) on revenue of $607.1 million in the quarter, compared with $17.3 million (43 cents) on revenue of $472.9 million in the last three months of 2001.

For the year, MAMSI earned $97.4 million ($2.34) on revenue of $2.33 billion, compared with $57.2 million ($1.41) on revenue of $1.81 billion in 2001.

The Rockville-based company said that its commercial membership grew 8 percent -- to 1.98 million -- in 2002 and that member premiums rose 11 percent.

MAMSI said premiums totaled $589 million in the quarter, an increase of 29 percent over the same period in 2001. Medical and dental expenses totaled $474.9 million, a 22.5 percent increase.

MAMSI has operations in Maryland, Virginia, the District, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

* Choice Hotels International Inc., a Silver Spring-based hotel management company, said it earned $15.1 million (40 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $19.1 million (45 cents) a year earlier.

Executives at Choice said its profits were boosted by higher room occupancy and increased revenue from hotel franchise contracts. Revenue for the quarter was $84.3 million, compared with $92 million in the same period of 2001.

For the year, Choice reported net income of $60.8 million ($1.52), compared with $14.3 million (32 cents) in 2001. Annual revenue was $365.6 million, compared with $341.4 million the year before.

Choice is one of the largest hotel franchise companies in the world. It has more than 4,000 hotels open under such brand names as Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn and Econo Lodge.

* American Capital Strategies Ltd., a business investment firm based in Bethesda, reported net income of $15.7 million (37 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with $18.9 million (52 cents) in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The company, which makes loans to and invests in mid-size businesses, said its quarterly net operating income was $28 million, compared with $21.4 million a year earlier. The company derives its dividends from net operating income.

For the year, American Capital earned $20.1 million (50 cents), compared with $18.6 million (58 cents) in 2001.