Ask The Cops And Firefighters

You won't catch Phil Donahue or Sally Jessie Raphael on Westcott Communications' television networks. But they may be the channels of choice of your neighborhood fireman or policeman. The reason: Many town and municipal police forces and fire departments subscribe to Westcott's satellite broadcast networks, which provide educational and training TV programs for specific industries. Already, some Street pros want to get into the act by buying Westcott shares. Not surprisingly, Westcott's stock has bounced from 6 a share in August to 9.

Rick Teller, senior vice-president for investments at Josephthal, Lyon & Ross in Boston, thinks Westcott is a "potentially strong growth company." He estimates that earnings this year will be 22~ a share on projected sales of $29 million. Next year, he sees earnings climbing to 60~ a share on estimated sales of $38 million. In 1993, when Westcott expects to set up new networks for the medical professions, it could earn $1 a share, says Teller.

Westcott's first network, geared to auto dealers, grew rapidly from 1986 to 1989. But the recession took the wind out of that market. Now, Westcott's two-year-old Law Enforcement TV Network, aimed at the police departments, is in an upswing, attracting 2,700 subscribers. And its newest network -- Fire & Emergency TV Network -- aimed at firefighters and emergency medical personnel, "has been a success beyond the company's expectations" with 1,000 subscribers since September, he says.

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