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2002 Globe 100

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  1. Clean Harbors
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BULLS
2.  H O L O G I C   I N C .

X-ray technology, focus on women's health raises profile

    Globe 100
Bulls:
  1. Clean Harbors
  2. Hologic
  3. NMT Medical
  4. DeWolfe
  5. Indevus Pharmaceuticals

Bears:
  1. Sonus Networks
  2. Art Technology Group
  3. Praecis Pharmaceutical
  4. American Tower
  5. Dusa Pharmaceutical

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It's not difficult to discern what investors see in this Bedford-based company. If the X-ray market is moving inexorably toward digital imaging, Hologic is well positioned to capitalize on the trend with its direct-to-digital X-ray capture technology.

If women's health care is a growth industry, then Hologic's technology for osteoporosis assessment, mammography, and breast biopsy will be in demand by medical facilities serving an aging population.

Last year, Hologic was on the right side of both of these stories, and it paid off: The company's stock rose 286 percent, to $15.45 as of March 31 from $4 a year earlier.

Founded in 1986, Hologic initially focused on X-ray technology for the assessment of osteoporosis. Since then, it has expanded through acquisitions into a variety of areas related to women's health and medical digital imaging.

And although Hologic's growth has come at the expense of profitability in recent years, investors have hung in there.

Now, chief executive Jack Cumming is hoping to give them another reason to believe. Over the last year, he has reduced the company's head count by 25 percent (to approximately 750 employees worldwide), and in the most recent earnings report, he said Hologic was back in the black.

"We've gone through a long period of growth, and now we're focused on getting our operating expenses under control," Cumming said, adding that Hologic's new fiscal discipline, combined with its focus on growth areas, makes the company "recession-proof."

After last year's performance, many investors may be inclined to believe him.

D.C. DENISON


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