Editor’s note: This week, Local Tech Wire has been examining the impact of Wall Street’s meltdown on technology companies in the Carolinas and Georgia. Today’s package focuses on public companies, and some of them have shown gains. Much has been written and reported about the losers in the stock market this year, especially in technology markets. Not many stories have pointed out the companies that emerged from this year’s volatile market conditions in good shape.

Out of the 78 publicly traded technology companies headquartered in Georgia and North Carolina, 11 experienced gains in market capitalization through July 22 this year, and only one North Carolina company, Charlotte-based Lending Tree, saw positive returns during that period.

Lending Tree’s market capitalization rose from $117 million on Jan. 2 to $294 million on July 22. Through second quarter 2002 the company reported net revenues increased 15 percent to $24.5 million over the previous quarter and 55 percent over the same period in 2001. Company officials say the increases are due to higher revenues per transmission of loan requests, which reached a record high of $55.89 during the second quarter.

Lanny Baker, an analyst with Saloman Smith Barney, says online sources for loan applications are becoming more important to lenders and consumers each day. Thus, he says, Lending Tree stands to benefit from reduced loan demand, which will cause lenders to search harder for new customer leads.

“We project 50 percent revenue growth in 2002 with positive net income during the second half of the year,” Baker says.

But it was PracticeWorks which posted the largest gains of the year so far, with a market cap that grew from $159 million to $294 million during the same Jan. 2 — July 22 period.

The company, which provides information management technology products for dentists, orthodontists and other oral doctors, watched revenues continue to increase during the second quarter, up 49 percent to $40 million while net losses decreased 44 percent to $9.6 million. Shares of PRW hit an all-time high of $19.40 a share on June 24 and recently traded near $14.89.

Immucor was the third biggest gainer, nearly doubling its market cap from $87.4 million to $171 million. For the nine months ended Feb. 28 revenues increased 20 percent to $60.7 million while net income reached $6 million compared to a $6.7 million loss. The company’s stock price also hit a record high recently, trading as high as $25.74 on July 17.

AtheroGenics, one of the pharmaceutical companies that Gary Tapp, quantitative analyst for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets in Atlanta, referred to as a bright spot in southeastern technology markets, watched its market cap boosted from $158 million to $201 million. The company released its second quarter earnings today, stating that it still is not generating revenues, and research and development expenses have increased 38 percent to $5.3 million.

And the fifth best performer was HealthTronics Surgical Devices, a company whose sole purpose is to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval for products manufactured by HMT Medical Technologies. HealthTronics revenues totaled $21 million through first quarter 2002, up from $10.2 million, while net income also increased 63 percent to $1.5 million. The company’s market cap totals $133 million, an increase of $33.22 million over Jan. 2’s total.

The market caps of the remaining six winners, VitalWorks, EMS Technologies, Video Display Corporation, Ross Systems, Horizon Medical Products and SED International Holdings, combined to increase $53.3 million from Jan. 2 — July 22.

See accompanying lists for further details:

The Winners: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1453&k=28&l=15

The Losers: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1452&k=28&l=15