Steady as she goes

Black-owned stocks show small price gains

In April, when we last reported on them, a number of the companies that comprise the be Black Stock Index were undergoing makeovers. Some sold or closed subsidiaries, some acquired other companies-all in hope of expanding market share and boosting earnings. Now it appears those moves have begun to pay off. The following is a roundup of recent activities at several of the firms:

American Shared Hospital Services (AMEX: AMS): The San Francisco medical-services firm, which sold its diagnostic-imaging business for $14 million last November, recently reported that net income for the second quarter ended June 30 rose to $495,000, or nine cents a share, from $300,000, or five cents a share. By early September, AMS’s stock had risen from $1.43 a share to $4.13.

Ault Inc. (Nasdaq: AULT): The Minneapolis-based maker of external power conversion products has branched out, embarking on a joint venture with Japanese trading firm Sumitomo Inc., called Ault Energy Systems Inc., which will make and market battery packs for wireless phones. Ault said net income for the fiscal year ended May 30 rose to $1.98 million, or 45 cents a diluted share, from $1.32 million, or 31 cents a diluted share a year ago. Sales for the year rose 24% to $50.9 million, from $41.1 million in 1998. Ault said it expects fiscal 2000 to be “another year of solid sales and earnings growth.”

Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs (OTC-BB: CARA.OB): The Detroit-based company, which develops, makes and distributes generic and private-label prescription drugs, said sales for the second quarter ended June 30 jumped 64% to $804,812 from $490,885 a year ago. Still, the company posted a loss of $1.7 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.6 million, or 12 cents a share in last year’s second quarter. According to Caraco, higher research and development costs were primarily to blame for this year’s loss. The company recently established a $5.3 million credit line to fund new-product R&D and said it plans to introduce four new drugs in the third quarter.

Carver Bancorp (AMEX: CNY) had higher earnings for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30. The New York City-based holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank recently reported net income of $787,000, or 35 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $318,000, or 14 cents a share, the previous year. The results reflect a tax-loss carryforward resulting from a prior period loss. Total assets rose to $422.5 million during the quarter, an increase of 1.44%, compared with $416.5 million in the year-ago period.

Deborah C. Wright, Carver’s new president and CEO, said in a statement that the bank is rebuilding its core businesses in residential and commercial mortgage lending as part of its plan to further improve its financial performance.

Granite Broadcasting (Nasdaq: GBTVK), a New York City-based owner of television stations across the country, announced September 1 that it intends to significantly expand the local news programming and cable distribution of KNTV, its San Jose, California, station. In order to fulfill this plan, Granite and

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