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NightHawk Radiology Holdings, which provides long-distance emergency X-ray interpretations, has filed to raise up to $86.25 million in an initial public offering (IPO) of stock.

NightHawk is headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but its radiologists are in Australia and Switzerland. Because of the time differences, they can read and interpret X-rays, MRIs and other body images for U.S. customers in what would be off hours or weekends in the States.

In the first half of this year, revenue rose 70 percent to $28.4 million, over the same period in 2004; operating income rose 42.4 percent to $6.8 million. NightHawk reported a $7.5 million loss in the first half, however, due to a change in the estimated fair value of its convertible preferred stock.

Cascade National

Bellevue insurer faces liquidation

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler filed a petition last week to liquidate Bellevue-based Cascade National Insurance. Kreidler recommends policyholders take immediate steps to find replacement coverage.

Cascade National sold auto and commercial-trucking policies in several states and marketed workers’ compensation coverage in California.

It was placed into receivership last November after Kreidler’s office found it was undercapitalized. Earlier this year, the commissioner’s office tried to sell the company but found no potential buyers with both viable business plans and adequate financial backing.

A hearing on Kreidler’s petition for liquidation is scheduled Nov. 4 in Thurston County Superior Court. All policies will be canceled 30 days after the order of liquidation is signed by the court.


High energy costs cut into earnings

Spokane-based Potlatch, a lumber-and-paper maker, said third-quarter earnings will be “significantly below” the average analyst estimate of 50 cents a share because of higher energy costs.

Energy expenses, which were exacerbated by oil and natural-gas shortages from Gulf Coast hurricanes, will be about $10 million more than a year earlier, Potlatch said in a statement yesterday after the close of trading.

Flir Systems

Flir revises its outlook for year

Flir Systems, the Portland company that makes infrared imaging systems, cut its full-year earnings and sales forecasts yesterday after third-quarter revenue fell short of expectations.

The news pushed Flir stock down $3.87, or 13.9 percent, to $24.01.

The company said it now expects to earn $1.12 to $1.17 a share on revenue of $510 million to $520 million for the year. In July, Flir projected full-year earnings between $1.17 and $1.22 a share on revenue of $545 million to $560 million.


Net income up 56% on strong drug sales

Genentech reported a 56 percent surge in third-quarter net income, fueled by strong drug sales of its newest colon cancer drug and its flagship breast-cancer fighter.

The results, released yesterday after the stock market closed, beat analysts’ expectations.

Genentech shares rose $4.40 to $85.90 after the report was released. Earlier, the stock gained 35 cents to close at $81.50.

Northrop Grumman

Military contractor slashes ’05 forecast

Northrop Grumman slashed its 2005 profit forecast yesterday after estimating that damages and work delays caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita will cut about 40 cents a share from full-year earnings.

The military contractor estimated damage to its shipbuilding unit caused by the storms at $1 billion. It has facilities in New Orleans, Pascagoula, Miss., and Gulfport, Miss.


Higher energy costs cut into profitability

Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa yesterday said third-quarter profit edged up 2 percent as lower aluminum prices and higher energy costs cut into profitability.

The results surpassed the expectations of analysts. Shares of Alcoa, a Dow industrial, fell 38 cents to close at $22.66 yesterday, then gained 53 cents in aftermarket activity.

Lincoln National

$7.5 billion buys rival Jefferson-Pilot

Lincoln National said yesterday it will acquire rival Jefferson-Pilot for about $7.5 billion in cash and stock, as the two century-old companies create what executives said would be one of the largest publicly traded life-insurance companies in the U.S.

The buyer, which will retain the Lincoln National and Lincoln Financial Group names, will be the nation’s largest seller of universal-life-insurance products and a leader in group-disability insurance and retirement-plan assets, the companies said.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff, Bloomberg News and Dow Jones/The Associated Press