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Is The Sun Rising On Worldcorp?


Inside Wall Street

IS THE SUN RISING ON WORLDCORP?

The name WorldCorp (WOA) makes this company sound as if its two operations would be naturals as global winners. That's what some money managers are betting on. Its US Order unit, which provides transaction-processing software for home-banking and network-telephone services, has deals with Visa International and Britain's Barclays Bank. And its World Airways has piled up a contract backlog of $463 million, a big jump from last year's $36 million.

WorldCorp, mentioned favorably in this column back in February, when it was trading at 81/2, is now at 12. And Will Weinstein, senior partner at Genesis Merchant Group Securities in San Francisco, says its underlying assets are worth 20. Weinstein notes that WorldCorp is trading at 10 times estimated 1996 earnings of $1.21 a share. For 1995, he expects the company to make only 10 cents a share. But a quantum leap is coming: US Order, which has yet to make money, will start producing "bountiful profits next year," says Gary Craft of Genesis. WorldCorp will take World Airways public in early October and reduce its stake in it to 59%. The carrier also expects big profits next year, says Craft.

World Airways is an international operator of charter flights for passengers and cargo for government and commercial customers. Its business includes jet leasing and providing other services for the U.S. government, Malaysia Airlines, and Garuda Indonesia.

WorldCorp took US Order (USOR) public in June at 133/4 a share--retaining a 61% ownership. Visa has paid $15 million for about 60% of US Order's operating assets. US Order will get royalty payments from Visa on customers that use its technology. Some 60 banks have agreed to use Visa's interactive system.BY GENE G. MARCIAL


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