NHBR/Chartworth stock Index
Shares in New Hampshire-based publicly traded companies increased by an average of 5.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the latest reading of the New Hampshire Business Review/ Chartworth Stock Index. The increase stands in contrast to the 5.6 percent drop the NHBR/Chartworth index saw in the first quarter of the year, bringing the index to a net 2.4 percent decline for the first half of the year. The NHBR/Chartworth index’s performance for the first six months of 2005 was better than that seen by the Nasdaq composite, which decreased 5.4 percent, but it lagged the results of the S&P composite, which decreased by 1.7 percent during the same period. The NHBR/Chartworth index tracks the change in a blended stock price for a weighted basket of the New Hampshire-based publicly traded companies. An even more telling story of the state of the market may be seen if we look at the ratio of winners to losers. During the second quarter, we saw 14 winners, 12 losers and one with no change. Of the 14 winners, seven companies saw double-digit increases during the quarter. Of the double-digit seven, only Presstek reported a double-digit increase during both the second quarter and the entire first half of 2005. Presstek’s quarterly stock increase was 46.63 percent for the second quarter and a drop of 20.78 percent for the first quarter, bringing its net increase for the first half to 16.94 percent. Skillsoft and Bentley Pharmaceuticals also saw mid-double digit second-quarter increases — 54.35 percent for Skillsoft and 48.78 percent for Bentley. On the flip side, Storage Computer saw the biggest decline in stock price — 72.22 percent — during the second quarter, bringing the stock’s price to a net decline of 78.26 percent for the first half of the year. Storage had announced that it would be unable to file its 10K report for the 2004 fiscal year as well as the first quarter of 2005 due to its inability to secure financing. Omtool shares saw a 15.77 percent decline during the quarter — almost equal to its 16.86 percent decrease in the first quarter. (But Omtool’s stock price has climbed dramatically since the end of the second quarter to nearly a 12-month high.) Susan Woods and Howard Smith are principals of Chartworth LLC, a Portsmouth-based corporate finance advisory and investment banking firm. For more information, visit chartworth.com.