San Diego stocks on average turned in...

San Diego stocks on average turned in a much better year than the major stock averages, according to Irving Katz, director of research at Thomas Green/San Diego Securities.

“On a composite basis, our list of 69 stocks gained 19.3%, compared to the 11.8% increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 12.4% in the Standard & Poor’s 500 average and 15.4% in the NASDAQ Composite,” Katz said.

“The reason for the gain is probably the preponderance of small-capitalization San Diego companies in our list, which were overly depressed in the last few months of 1987 following the October, 1987, (stock market) debacle. That made for significant gains in 1988,” Katz said.

Big local gainers were led by Pancretec, which gained 701%. It moved from $1.06, its closing bid in 1987, to $8.50 in 1988. Medical Imaging Centers gained 147%. Both companies began to show profits for the first time during 1988 and were initial ventures investments by John Pappajohn, an Iowa-based venture capitalist instrumental in many San Diego start-ups.


Following in percentage gains were Cousins Home Furnishings, up 133%; Advanced Marketing Services, up 123%; Agouron Pharmaceuticals, up 103%; and Psicor, up 84%. Medi-Mail, which went public at $1 last year, closed 1988 at $1.81 for an 81% gain.

On the downside, some local companies nearly disappeared in price. The biggest loser was International Robomation, which went from $2.625 to $.125, a 95% loss. Gascard Club dropped from $1.75 to $.125 for a 93% loss. These were followed by Telequest, down 77%; Celltronics, down 74%; CHoPP Computer, down 71%; Kaypro, down 67%; and CCT Corp., down 62%.

During the year, eight San Diego stocks disappeared through mergers and acquisitions. Foodmaker, which closed 1987 at $9.25 a share, went private at $19.43. Energy Factors, which closed 1987 at $5.375, was purchased by Sithe Energy for $8.25 a share.

Video Library, closing 1987 at $3.125, was purchased for cash by Blockbuster Entertainment for $4.75 a share. Linear Corp. and Northview Corp. completed mergers begun the previous year.

Burnham American Properties was merged into Burnham Pacific Properties. Magma Energy was merged into Magma Power, and Guild Mortgage Investments shares were exchanged for those of MDC Asset Investors.