NCRIC Group Inc., a District-based company that provides medical malpractice insurance to physicians, said its third-quarter profit increased to $1.1 million (17 cents per share), from $370,000 (6 cents) in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter grew to $19.9 million, from $16.1 million in third-quarter 2003.

The gain was partly driven by a 27 percent hike in average premium rates that took effect on Jan. 1 as well as growth in new business. For the first nine months of the year, profit fell to $1.2 million (18 cents) from $1.4 million (21 cents) in the comparable period a year ago, while revenue grew to $58.3 million from $46 million.

NCRIC also provides consulting services that help physicians run their practices. That part of the business made up about 5 percent of revenue for the first nine months of the year. NCRIC stock closed at $9.21, up 51 cents.

* Chindex International Inc., a Bethesda company that provides health care products and services in China, lost $89,000 (2 cents) on revenue of $27.6 million in the second quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with a profit of $219,000 (5 cents) on $21.2 million in revenue in the same quarter a year earlier.

Company president and chief executive Roberta Lipson said in a statement that the company's results reflected pre-opening costs for its recently opened hospital in Shanghai.

* Precision Auto Care Inc. earned $1.3 million (5 cents) in its first quarter, compared with $291,000 (1 cent) for the same period last year. The Leesburg-based franchiser of auto-care centers reported revenue of $3.7 million during the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $3.2 million a year ago.