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Preview: - Washington Investing -- The Washington Post's Jerry Knight on Public Companies in the Washington Region (wa - Washington Investing -- The Washington Post's Jerry Knight on Public Companies in the Washington Region (

Washington Post columnist Jerry Knight writes about the stocks of public companies based in the Washington region -- including Northern Virginia and Maryland.


Time to Stop Writing About Stocks and Start Buying Them

Mon, 29 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

After years of writing about Washington investing, I'm getting ready to buy my first stock in a local company.

Old Money Takes Its Time At Chevy Chase Land Co.

Mon, 22 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

From Ed Asher's penthouse office on upper Connecticut Avenue, the canopy of leaves that covers Washington's suburbs rolls off in all directions like a verdant sea.

We're Stuck With The Mortgage Monsters

Mon, 15 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

After too many years tilting at Washington's windmills, there are few subjects left that can trigger my feelings of outrage.

Rukeyser Pioneered TV Stock Talk, and Cramer Added the Laugh Track

Mon, 08 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Watching Jim Cramer on CNBC, ripping the head off a toy bear, then raking his audience with machine-gun sound effects, left me longing for the days when Louis Rukeyser was considered "too showbiz" to be talking about stocks on television.

Companies Ignored by Institutions Can Prove Strong Performers

Mon, 01 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

In Washington Investing 101 -- and most books on personal finance -- the first chapter is "The Magic of Compounding," a discourse on how your money can grow if you let gains build year after year.

REITs No Longer Resistant to Rate Increases

Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Fifteen times in a row the Federal Reserve cranked up interest rates and real estate investors stood their ground.

Va. Takes Heed of Md.'s Electric Rate Backlash

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

While Maryland politicians and Constellation Energy Group Inc. executives muck around in the mess they've made of electric rates, Wall Street is looking across the Potomac and worrying that something similar could happen in the Old Dominion.

Local Telecom Stocks Reconnect With Investors

Mon, 03 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Looking at the list of Washington's best-performing stocks for the first quarter, you'd think it was 1999 all over again.

For Start-Up Insurer, Flirting With Disaster Ended Badly

Mon, 27 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

To the list of those hit hard financially by last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes, add some new names:

Infrastructure: A Road to Riches?

Mon, 20 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

If somebody asked if you wanted to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, you'd know it was a con. But how about buying the Indiana Toll Road?

Radio One Takes a Long View

Mon, 06 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

Back when Radio One Inc. began buying radio stations, hip-hop was unheard music.

Stock Markets on the Open Market: Exchanges Go Public, Generate Windfalls

Mon, 20 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

If you think the stocks on the Nasdaq Stock Market have been doing well, take a look at the stock of the Nasdaq Stock Market.

French Parent Targets Huge but Little-Known Lafarge North America

Mon, 13 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

The Washington area is preparing to bid a raucous au revoir to one of its biggest but least-known corporations -- one that arguably never should have existed.

A Lonely Voice Is Vindicated as Google Falters

Mon, 06 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

When Google stock plummeted Wednesday, investors in Maryland's most-vaunted mutual fund, the Legg Mason Value Trust, lost $130 million in value in a single day.

Danaher Thrives on Discipline

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

For the chief executive of an $8 billion-a-year business that grows by making acquisitions, Danaher Corp. President H. Lawrence Culp Jr. has an impressive ability to say no.

Six Flags Gains Ground Under Redskins' Snyder

Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

Okay, so Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder can't get his football team into the Super Bowl, but the guy sure knows how to make money on his new sideline -- the Six Flags amusement park chain.

Cuisine Solutions Sizzled in 2005

Mon, 02 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

Washington investors had to read the food section and restaurant reviews to find last year's top-performing local stock -- Cuisine Solutions Inc., an Alexandria company that makes gourmet frozen food.

Dealmaking Power Companies Change the Utility Landscape

Mon, 26 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

Consumers and investors may think it doesn't matter much that Constellation Energy Group Inc., Maryland's biggest utility company, plans to merge with Florida's FPL Group Inc. Think again.

BlackBerry Users Can Relax: NTP Won't Shut You Down

Mon, 12 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

This column is for all those traumatized people who type with their thumbs.

A Peek Inside a Private Offering

Mon, 05 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

Joe E. Robert Jr., the Washington area real estate mogul and philanthropist, has lots of friends.

Investors Could Find A Chink in Under Armour

Mon, 28 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Not since Cal Ripken Jr. has Maryland produced as rich a sports hero as Kevin Plank.

Host Marriott, Out of the Shadow

Mon, 21 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

What do you call a company that's the biggest in its business, valued by Wall Street at more than $16 billion?

Carl Icahn's Latest Shuffle

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Carl Icahn has been trying lately to tell General Motors Corp. and Time Warner Inc. how to run their businesses. The 68-year-old New York financier has acquired significant stakes in both companies and is hectoring management to do something to "increase shareholder value" -- in other words, make the stock he just bought worth more.

Signs Abound That the Joy Ride Of REITs May Be Ending

Mon, 07 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

If you want to understand how nervous real estate investors are these days, take a look at Mills Corp., the company that owns Potomac Mills, Arundel Mills and dozens of other mega-malls.

AES Continues to Charm Wall Street Analysts

Mon, 31 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EST

Every week the Bloomberg news service compiles a list of companies that get the best rankings from Wall Street analysts. And every week for months, AES Corp. of Arlington has been on that list, ranking among the 30 most highly recommended stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

Nextel Partners Is a Phone Company Without a Brand

Mon, 24 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Marrying into a family can always bring problems, but rarely do family feuds turn nasty as fast as the dust-up between Sprint Nextel Corp. and Nextel's most successful offspring.

A Chill Hits Feverish Biotech Stocks

Mon, 17 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Every fall, the biotechnology industry used to get a predictable lift from an annual conference on infectious diseases where biotech companies report their latest drug research. A hint of success in the lab or in patient testing for one or two new drugs would elevate the whole risky sector.

WorldSpace Stumbles

Mon, 10 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Judging from what happened before WorldSpace Inc. went public in August, the Silver Spring-based satellite radio service should have pulled off Washington's hottest initial public offering since the Roaring '90s.

Blue-Chip Trio Played Out of Tune in Third Quarter

Mon, 03 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Marriott International.

Hurricanes Bring Price Spikes in Stocks, Construction Supplies

Mon, 26 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Driven by Katrina and now Rita, higher prices are rolling through the building and construction business, affecting both consumers and investors.

Airlines Hide Out In Bankruptcy Court

Mon, 19 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

US Airways of Arlington is on Runway 11, revving its engines to fly out of bankruptcy.

Lockheed Rules Roost on Electronic Surveillance

Mon, 29 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Small-time stock traders love to try to make money off news events, so when the London transit bombers were caught on video cameras recently, electronic surveillance stocks got hot.

Quirky MicroStrategy Springs Another Surprise

Mon, 22 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDT

MicroStrategy Inc. has produced such solid profits and strong stock performance recently that it was almost possible to believe the company had put its past behind it and matured into what it was always meant to be -- a nice second-tier software maker.

Sprint Nextel Emerges as Contender to Rule Local Market

Mon, 15 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Move over, Lockheed Martin.

All Is Not Equal in the World of Spinoffs

Mon, 01 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDT

When Marriott International Inc. spun off a new real estate investment company to buy hotels, so many investors wanted in on the deal that the year-old company, DiamondRock Hospitality Co., sold $292 million worth of stock in May instead of the $172 million it had first offered.

Asbestos Stocks Hostage to Fate Of Legislation On Liability

Mon, 25 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Six months ago, W.R. Grace & Co. was the hottest stock in town.

Aether Systems Finds a Billion Dollars in Losses Is an Asset Worth Protecting

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

When David S. Oros, the founder of Aether Systems, came by for lunch with editors and reporters six years ago, he was one of the rock stars of Washington business.

SEC Trading Rule Gives Executives An Out Just Ahead of Bad News

Mon, 11 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

In the month before the Trex Co. revealed that slumping sales and rising raw materials costs are eroding profits, three top officials of the Virginia maker of composite deck boards cashed in a combined $2.75 million of their stock.

Down but Not Out, Local Stocks Fare Better Than the Dow

Mon, 04 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

How much money have you lost in the market so far this year?

Share Prices Fall, But Pay Goes Up

Mon, 27 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Pay for performance. What a great idea. Too bad the executive compensation system so rarely works that way.

Financial Firms Weigh Expansion Closer to Home or Farther Afield

Mon, 13 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

The future of three of the Washington area's biggest financial services companies depends on a question nobody can answer with confidence.

Winning and Losing, Yet Still Coming Up Big

Mon, 06 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

On most rankings of mutual fund performance, two fund families based in the Washington area show up among the biggest winners -- and the biggest losers.

US Airways Investors Live in A Fantasy World

Mon, 30 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Attention investors: The captain has turned on the seat-belt light. Please prepare for landing.

Delisting A Stock Isn't A Death Knell

Mon, 23 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Champagne corks pop to celebrate initial public offerings, when companies sell stock to the public for the first time, but there are no ceremonies to mark the other end of the corporate life cycle, when a company's stock is delisted.

Online Investing: Consolidate Or Go Home

Mon, 16 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

As chief executive of E-Trade Financial Corp., Mitchell H. Caplan is determined to be a winner in the multibillion-dollar game of musical chairs in the online investing business.

Riggs Stockholders Decide How to Collect in PNC Deal

Mon, 09 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Riggs Bank's customers and shareholders are facing a tough decision: Should they stay, or should they go?

Xybernaut Stock Sold Like Its Computers Didn't

Mon, 02 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

As a maker of "wearable computers," Xybernaut Corp. of Fairfax has been far more successful at selling stock than selling computers.

To Find Top Performers, Get Back to Basics

Mon, 25 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

As chief executive of NVR Inc., the Washington area's biggest home builder, Dwight C. Schar gets a lot of grief.

Legg Mason's Miller Presses For Qwest Bid

Mon, 18 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Other investors may own more MCI stock, but few have as much at stake in the fight for control of MCI Inc. as Baltimore's Legg Mason Inc.

As Coal Prices Rise, So Do Coal Stocks

Mon, 11 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

You can't help but be reminded of the Little Engine That Could when you chart the stock price of Massey Energy Co. of Richmond.

USEC's Gain Tops Regional Stock Index In 1st Quarter

Mon, 04 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

In the gloomiest quarter in two years for Washington investors, one stock glowed like it was radioactive.

Plan to Merge MCI, Qwest Has A Sour Ring to It

Mon, 28 Mar 2005 00:00:00 EST

As a long-time advocate for investors, it pains me to say it, but MCI Inc.'s board of directors ought to tell shareholders who oppose merging with Verizon Communications Inc. to take a hike.

Buyer Beware: Retail Stocks May Not Pay Off

Mon, 07 Mar 2005 00:00:00 EST

With Kmart and Sears preparing for a summer wedding and the nation's two biggest department store groups celebrating their engagement, investors may be tempted to start shopping for retail stocks.

Wall Street Is Stuck With Fannie Mae

Mon, 28 Feb 2005 00:00:00 EST

Fannie Mae's stock finally had a good day on Friday--after a six-day slide that cost its shareholders $6 billion.

Some Troubled Firms Turned Into Top Performers in 2004

Mon, 03 Jan 2005 00:00:00 EST

Flirting with bankruptcy is getting to be the most reliable way for Washington investors to pick a top-performing local stock.