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Double Boon From Helix

Cover Story: Where To Invest '96: Inside Wall Street: Strategies for Stocks


Never mind what Helix Technology (HELX) makes. When you see its sales and profit graphs, you'll want the stock. Those two lines go nearly straight up--from 1991 on. Aside from being a growth stock, it pays a $1-a-share annual dividend. How many other tech stocks provide both growth and income? Not many.

What's Helix all about? It's the world leader in cryogenic and vacuum-technology products: The cryogenics aid in cooling off infrared detectors, superconductor devices, and advanced electronic circuits. Helix' products generated a return on equity of 50% in 1995, up sharply from last year's 36%.

Producers of semiconductors, flat-panel displays, magnetic heads, disk drives, CD-ROMs, and optics all use systems that need Helix' vacuum technology. Helix supplies vacuum and cryogenic pumps to many such outfits. Helix customers include practically every semiconductor and integrated-circuit producer in the U.S.

"All these products are finding a larger market every day," says Theodore Rudd O'Neill of H.C. Wainwright, a Boston investment firm, who thinks Helix will earn $2.10 a share in 1995, $2.66 in 1996, and $3 in 1997--up from $1.82 last year. He figures the stock, now at 31, is worth 50. Considering the growing importance of Helix products, he says, "I wouldn't be surprised if one of the big superconductor companies made a move to acquire it."BY GENE G. MARCIAL

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