Pacific Scientific (PSX) may evoke images of exotic expeditions. Don't be fooled: The Newport Beach (Calif.) maker of electrical equipment has proprietary knowhow that makes it a leader in niche markets closer to home. It makes electronic lighting-control and safety devices. Some investors say Pacific Scientific has attracted much larger players.

"Informal talks are going on between Pacific Scientific and companies eager to buy its technology--or the entire company," says investment adviser John Westergaard. Among other things, Pacific makes advanced controls for fluorescent lamps--smaller and longer-lasting. Also, the company's new Sense-a-Volt technology automatically adjusts to any line voltage between 120 and 277, explains Westergaard. This allows lighting fixtures to be used anywhere in the world--a boon to manufacturers. Pacific Scientific has received orders from major retailers for the new products, says Westergaard.

He figures Pacific Scientific, now at 24 a share, will hit 40 in 12 months, mainly because of its Solium line of dimmable and three-way controls. This gear, first shipped to customers in September, will boost sales and earnings. Westergaard thinks 1996 estimates of $1.60 a share are low: "We look for $2 next year," he says. In 1995, analysts expect $1 a share.

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