Waiting For A Ceo Open To Bids

Something is astir at Shared Medical Systems. Reflecting lackluster earnings, the stock had been languishing--until recently. Since mid-August, the stock has been on the rise, going from 22 to nearly 29--in spite of investors' dissatisfaction.

What's cooking? Up to now, Chairman and CEO R. James Macaleer has been unwilling to make executives available to discuss what the company was doing in new technology. But all that is changing. According to a New York money manager, Macaleer is ready to bow to pressure from some board members and appoint an outsider to act as co-CEO.

When that happens, "you'll see the stock jump," says this money pro, who thinks Macaleer has blocked attempts by outsiders to bid for Shared Medical. He senses Macaleer is finally losing his clout, as more executives start to rebel. One big investor has written to Macaleer and the board complaining that management is not responsive at all to shareholders' concerns.

A new CEO, he says, could immediately open the door to the companies he believes have been trying to make a merger or buyout offer: AT&T, Bell Atlantic, and Electronic Data Systems. Shared Medical provides data-processing systems to more than 600 hospitals and 275 physician groups in 48 states. One takeover pro puts Shared Medical's buyout value at $50 a share.

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