Youth Services earnings rise 122 percent


Youth Services International Inc. said its earnings rose 122 percent during the year that ended June 30, a performance that was in line with investors' expectations.

The Owings Mills-based company runs 18 programs nationwide for juvenile offenders and at-risk youth, including the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County. The company has grown swiftly since its 1991 founding as it has ridden a wave of interest in contracting out expensive and difficult-to-run juvenile-incarceration programs to private firms.

Youth Services said it earned $860,000 on revenue of $15.4 million during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, capping 12 months in which it earned $2.2 million on $52.8 million in sales. Its quarterly profit worked out to a margin of 5.6 percent of sales.

"I think this is pretty much what they promised," said Edward A. Froelich, who follows the company for Pershing, a division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette based in Jersey City, N.J. "There were no surprises, and the stock didn't do anything."

Youth Services International shares closed yesterday at $10.25, up 12.5 cents.

The company said it grew so rapidly during the year because it boosted enrollment in its residential programs 46 percent to 1,513 youths. Another 650 clients, on average, participate in Youth Services' nonresidential programs.

Wall Street analysts on average expect Youth Services to earn 62 cents a share in fiscal 1996, up from 40 cents in the year just completed, according to the three estimates reported to Nelson Publications Inc., a research firm serving institutional investors.

Company Chairman James Hindman said in a statement that the company expects demand for the type of services Youth Services offers to double over the next 15 years.

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