* OAO Technology Solutions, a Greenbelt information technology firm, said it lost $614,000 (3 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $1.4 million (7 cents) in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose slightly, to $43.3 million from $42.9 million. In 2002, OAO lost $1.3 million (7 cents) on $167.1 million in revenue. It lost $3.5 million (19 cents) on $163.1 million in revenue in 2001. Shares of OAO rose 15 cents, to $1.55.
* Igen International, a Gaithersburg biotechnology company, said a Richmond-based appeals court heard oral arguments by Roche Holdings' diagnostics division related to a 2002 judgment that awarded Igen $505 million in damages. The maker of biological detection systems said it expects the appeals court to issue a decision mid-year. Last April, a district court affirmed a judgment that awarded Igen $505 million in damages, while affirming Igen's right to terminate the companies' license agreement. Litigation between the companies began in 1997, when Igen filed a lawsuit charging Roche with multiple breaches of a license agreement under which Igen licensed its Origen technology to Roche for use in a specified field.
* VSE, an Alexandria engineering and defense contractor, said it earned $2,000 (0 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, down from $54,000 (2 cents) in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $31.1 million from $27.5 million. VSE earned $652,000 (30 cents) in fiscal 2002, down from $855,000 (40 cents) the previous year. Annual revenue grew to $134.4 million from $111.6 million. Shares of VSE fell 27 cents, to close at $12.93.
* Guilford Pharmaceuticals of Baltimore revised its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings after eliminating $730,000 in cash bonuses for employees. The cost-cutting measure reduced the net loss for the quarter to $14.3 million (48 cents per share) from $15.1 million (50 cents per share). For the year, Guilford's net loss narrowed to $59.3 million ($1.99) from $60 million ($2.01). Separately, the company announced the appointment of Joseph R. Chinnici to its board of directors. A Guilford spokeswoman said Chinnici, chief financial officer of Maryland software company Ciena, will serve as an independent financial expert, a position now required under Securities and Exchange Commission rules.
* Gene Logic, a Gaithersburg biotechnology company that sells data about the human genetic code, narrowed its losses by $800,000 in the fourth quarter, and revenue rose 6 percent. Gene Logic reported a net loss of $5.2 million (19 cents per share), compared with a loss of $6 million (22 cents) a year earlier. New subscriptions to its genetic databases from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies nudged Gene Logic's revenue up to $14.8 million, from $14 million a year ago. For the year, the company lost $24 million (89 cents), compared with a loss of $33.2 million ($1.25) in 2001. Annual revenue increased to $54.8 million from $43.3 million.
* Optelecom, a Gaithersburg company that makes communications equipment, said it earned $700,000 (23 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with $374,000 (13 cents) in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $4.5 million from $3.7 million. In 2002, Optelecom earned $1.6 million (56 cents) on revenue of $14.9 million. It lost $934,000 (33 cents) on $13.2 million in revenue in 2001. Shares of Optelecom closed at $7.16, up $1.35.
* Hemagen Diagnostics, a Columbia biotechnology firm, reported a loss of $396,000 (4 cents per share) in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31. The company lost $451,000 (5 cents) in the year-earlier period. Quarterly revenue slipped to $2 million from $2.2 million. Shares of Hemagen closed at 25 cents, up 5 cents.
* EntreMed shares jumped 15 percent on the company's announcement of a published pre-clinical study that shows Panzem potentially can be used to prevent and treat osteoporosis without any observable secondary side effects. Shares of Rockville-based EntreMed rose 14 cents to close at $1.09 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In a news release, the company said that Panzem compared favorably with other bone-loss treatments and that it didn't appear to depend on estrogen receptors. Some conventional anti-bone-loss therapies must interact with estrogen receptors to be effective and so are not good for women who've had, or are at risk for, breast cancer, EntreMed said. The findings will appear in the March issue of Endocrinology.
Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones News Service