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Double Blessings At Helix?

Inside Wall Street


Every now and then, a stock-chart maven gets excited about an issue for reasons beyond its technical vigor. Bob Nurock, for one, is hot about Helix Technology.

The company develops cryogenic (low-temperature) and vacuum technology used in making semiconductors, data storage, and information displays. And technically, the stock "is a beauty," says Nurock, publisher of Bob Nurock's Advisory Newsletter. Now at 23, the shares have broken out of the basing pattern they were in last November, when they traded at 17. And the issue has "emerged slowly to its current level on a gradual buildup of volume," explains Nurock.

But what has kept Nurock agog is Helix' fast earnings rise over the past six quarters. In part, that rise comes from stricter cost controls. And if the economy rebounds, says Nurock, the growth rate of semiconductor manufacturing will continue to expand, and Helix's earnings will accelerate more. He sees them reaching $1.30 to $1.35 a share in 1991, vs. 1990's 48c. For 1992, Nurock expects profits to climb to $1.70 a share. And he thinks the stock is way undervalued. It's trading at ap-e of 13--far below its peak p-e of 33.

Another plus: Helix pays an annual dividend of 76c a share--unusually lofty for a high-tech that, according to Nurock, spends 5% of sales on research and development. He expects the stock to double this year.GENE G. MARCIAL

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