ASHS managers will buy stock at bargain prices

January 16, 1991

Ernest A. Bates, founder and chairman of American Shared HospitalServices of San Francisco, will increase his controlling stakein the mobile imaging firm through additional common stock purchases,the company said this month. Other ASHS executives also

Ernest A. Bates, founder and chairman of American Shared HospitalServices of San Francisco, will increase his controlling stakein the mobile imaging firm through additional common stock purchases,the company said this month. Other ASHS executives also intendto purchase shares, which are traded on the American stock exchange.

Bates controlled about 1 million shares or 36.6% of companyequity as of last month. ASHS has 2.75 million shares outstanding.The ASHS managers consider their company's stock a good buy rightnow, said Richard Magary, vice president of administration.

The company's stock price has been battered over the last twoyears by weak financial results. Profitability has been hurt byequipment write-downs and high interest payments on debt.

ASHS also took over a large fleet of computed tomography scannerswith its purchase of CuraCare in 1987 (SCAN 8/5/87). Mobile CTdemand has been flat compared to the dynamic growth in mobilemagnetic resonance imaging services in the past three years.

ASHS lost $2.7 million in fiscal 1989 (end-December), comparedto a profit of $1.9 million in 1988 (SCAN 3/14/90). Losses continuedto plague the company last year (SCAN 8/29/90).

Shares of ASHS were trading at $1.75 last week, compared toa year-long high of $3.88 and a low of $1.

The firm issued a $30 million high-yield junk bond in October1988, and the financial community is concerned about the interestthat has to be paid to service this bond, Magary said.

"Some of the money was used for acquisitions, not allof which had the yields we expected," he said.

ASHS is restructuring the company to relieve some of the interestpayment pressures and assuage financial concerns about this debtload, Magary said.