Price predicts revenue growth At annual meeting, Roche is named Collins' successor as chairman


T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. said yesterday that it expects first-quarter revenues to rise about 25 percent, and its board of directors named George A. Roche president and chairman of the company.

Roche, who has been Price's chief financial officer, replaces George J. Collins, who said a year ago that he would leave the Baltimore-based mutual fund company to compete in Whitbread, around-the-world sailing race.

"I leave with mixed emotions," said the 56-year-old Collins

yesterday, following the company's annual meeting in Baltimore. walk around the company and it is not easy."

Presiding over Price's annual meeting was Collins' final act as chairman. He will leave at the end of May after a 25-year career with the company.

Roche did not give specifics, but he told shareholders that the company expects net income to jump more than 30 percent in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures. The firm's assets under management are up $3.5 billion since year-end to nearly $103 billion, he told shareholders.

"We still believe that 1997 will be another good year for T. Rowe Price," Roche said in his address. "We recognize that we have been in a very favorable overall environment thus far in the decade."

Roche warned that the Federal Reserve Board could again raise interest rates as it did in March, and roil both the stock and bond markets.

Price's official quarterly results are expected to be released next week.

The company's stock closed at $39 a share, up 50 cents.

Price has been growing rapidly. Revenues more than doubled to $586.1 million from 1992 to 1996. Net income more than doubled to $98.5 million in the same period, and assets under management jumped to $99.4 billion at the end of 1996, up from $41.4 billion in 1992.

Growth in stock mutual funds the company offers has helped drive the company. Price had $64.4 billion in mutual fund assets under management at the end of December.

"Overall, the 1990s have been very good for T. Rowe Price, its clients and its stockholders," Roche told shareholders.

With such strong numbers, Price could be seen as an attractive acquisition target. But Roche and Collins remain adamant that the company is not for sale.

"We are going to stay independent. Period!" Collins told shareholders.

After the meeting he reiterated the point: "I mean it," he said. "We are of sufficient size we can control our own destiny."

Roche said the company is in great shape to do its own acquiring because it has no debt on its books and plenty of capital.

Besides naming Roche president, Price's directors elected James S. Riepe and M. David Testa vice chairmen of the board. Testa also becomes chief investment officer.

Brian C. Rogers, who manages the $9 billion T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund and the $250 million Value Fund, was named a director.

Alvin M. Younger Jr. becomes the company's chief financial officer.

Pub Date: 4/18/97

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