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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Top 25

TOP25/Woodard/8″/dt1st/LK2nd By CHRISTOPHER WOODARD Staff Reporter After losing 11 percent of their collective value in just two days during the market plunge at the end of August, the San Fernando Valley’s largest public companies appear to have climbed out of the trough. The two dozen top firms more than made up for the lost ground, posting a combined 18 percent increase in stock value since the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 984 points between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1. The resurgence was powered by companies like Amgen Inc., Litton Industries Inc., WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Xircom Inc., which reported strong earnings growth for the third quarter or had other positive news. If an investor bought 100 shares of each of the four companies at the market’s recent low point, his or her $17,786 investment would have grown 45 percent, or by $7,933 in a month and a half. Amgen, for example, saw its stock price drop 10 points over two days at the end of August, bottoming out at $60.87 a share. However, the biotech firm has since seen its stock jump to $80 a share based on improved sales of Epogen, an anti-anemia drug, and Neupogen, which helps boost white blood cell counts for chemotherapy and AIDS patients. Out of the Valley’s top 24 public companies, 12 were trading last week at or above the market level they had attained before the August downturn. They are Amgen, The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Countrywide Credit Industries Inc., Foundation Health Systems, Litton, Pinkerton’s Inc., Public Storage Inc., Syncor International Corp., Superior Industries International Inc., Wellpoint, Unilab Corp. and Xircom. Companies that have yet to catch up to their previous levels are Dole Food Co. Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Electro Rent Corp., Golden State Bancorp Inc., Guitar Center Inc., Ihop Corp., Newhall Land & Farming Co., OroAmerica Inc., Panavision Inc., 20th Century Industries, Xylan Corp. and Zenith National Insurance Corp.

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