MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Kaplan Unit to Buy Israeli Firm

A unit of Kaplan Inc., the New York-based educational services subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., plans to acquire a test-preparation firm in Israel for an undisclosed sum this month.

The purchase of 14-year-old Kidum Group would mark the first international investment for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, which handles Kaplan's core business of preparing students for exams such as the SAT and the GMAT. Kaplan's other divisions have acquired several firms in Europe and Asia since 2003.

Kidum launched the test-preparation market in Israel, where it now operates 48 centers. Through its four subsidiaries, Kidum prepares students for college admissions and high school exit exams as well as English-language study programs and GMAT prep courses.

"As the demand for test preparation services rises and Kaplan seeks to expand its scope of services worldwide, we see Kidum as an ideal partner," John Polstein, president of Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, said in a statement.

media

XM to Carry New York Times Radio Content

XM Satellite Radio said it will carry music, features and commentary produced by New York Times Radio, a new unit of the New York Times Co. The agreement includes Times participation on several talk channels, hourly newscasts and classical music from WQXR-FM, the Times-owned New York City radio station.

EARNINGS

Settlements Lift Dominion Resources Profit

Dominion Resources, the Richmond energy company that operates Dominion Virginia Power, reported second-quarter profit of $332 million (97 cents a share), up from $251 million (76 cents) in the comparable period last year. Settlement of business-interruption insurance claims related to Hurricane Ivan boosted income, as did higher energy costs.

Operating revenue rose 20 percent, to $3.64 billion. Shares closed at $77.90, up 65 cents.

Gladstone Capital's Income Declines

Gladstone Capital, a McLean company that makes loans to small and mid-size businesses, said its net income in the most recent quarter fell because of lower interest income and unrealized losses in its investments. Gladstone earned $3.9 million (34 cents a share) in the three months ended June 30, compared with $5.6 million (54 cents) in the same period of 2004. Net investment income before unrealized losses of $438,273 was $4.4 million, compared with $4.7 million a year earlier.

MeriStar Swings to Second-Quarter Profit

MeriStar Hospitality, an Arlington firm that owns 71 hotels nationally, reported sharply improved operating results in the second quarter, as the tourism business continued its steady improvement.

MeriStar reported profit of $934,000 (1 cent a share) for the three months ended in June, compared with a loss of $11.6 million (14 cents) in the corresponding period last year.

The company reported funds from operations, a common measure of operating performance for real estate investment trusts, of $29 million (28 cents), up from $16 million (19 cents).

USEC Reports Loss on Higher Expenditures

USEC of Bethesda reported a loss of $3 million (3 cents a share) on $277.4 million in revenue during its second quarter, compared with a net income of $7.4 million (9 cents) on $302.5 million in revenue during the year-ago quarter. The company attributed its losses to increased spending at its American Centrifuge uranium-enrichment facility.

Sinclair Profit Rises on Sale of TV Station

Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore, owner of 61 U.S. television stations, said its second-quarter profit rose on a gain from the sale of a station in Sacramento. Profit increased fivefold, to $145.1 million. Revenue fell 2 percent, to $183.6 million.

Criimi Mae Earnings Drop Sharply

Criimi Mae of Rockville, a real estate investment trust dealing in commercial mortgages, earned $2.5 million (6 cents a share) on $22.3 million in interest income during its second quarter, down from $19.6 million ($1.15) on $24.9 million in interest income during the corresponding period last year.

New-Look Aether Turns Quarterly Profit

Aether Holdings, a former telecommunications company that now manages mortgage-backed securities, said it earned $778,000 (2 cents a share) during its second quarter, compared with a loss of $49.8 million ($1.14) during the corresponding period last year.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

Washington's XM has signed a content agreement with New York Times Radio.