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MINNEAPOLIS, July 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) today announced net income of $1.2 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2005. The second quarter included a pre-tax restructuring charge of $8.6 million, or $0.29 per diluted share after tax, related to implementing certain expense reduction measures previously announced by the firm. For the quarter ended June 30, 2004, net income was $13.0 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, and for the quarter ended Mar. 31, 2005, net income was $7.3 million, or $0.38 per diluted share. Net revenues for the second quarter of 2005 were $179.7 million, down 13.3 percent from the second quarter of 2004 and essentially unchanged from the first quarter of 2005.

For the first six months of 2005, net income was $8.6 million, down 68.0 percent from the year-ago period. Earnings per diluted share were $0.44, down from $1.38 from the first six months of 2004. Net revenues of $358.7 million year-to-date represent a 13.9 percent decrease over the year-ago period, primarily due to lower principal transactions and lower investment banking revenue.

"We reported mixed business results versus the first quarter with stronger performance in institutional sales and trading and public finance offset by weaker private client revenues and lower mergers and acquisitions revenues, and financial results were well below one year ago," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew S. Duff. "We are well underway with a process to strategically position our businesses for improved growth and profitability. During the quarter we reorganized our fixed income resources within our Capital Markets segment, and we recently announced the European expansion of our healthcare franchise. During the quarter we also implemented expense reduction measures to better align our cost infrastructure with our revenues."


    Results of Operations

    Net Revenues

In the second quarter of 2005, net revenues declined $27.7 million, or 13.3 percent, from the second quarter of 2004, primarily due to lower principal transactions in both Capital Markets and Private Client Services and lower investment banking revenues. Compared to the first quarter of 2005, net revenues were essentially flat as higher Capital Markets revenues offset lower private client activity.

Non-Interest Expenses

For the three months ended June 30, 2005, non-interest expenses were $178.1 million, down 4.6 percent from the second quarter of 2004. Compensation expense was $110.4 million, a decline of $17.3 million, or 13.6 percent, from the prior-year period, primarily due to less variable compensation driven by lower net revenues and profitability. For the second quarter of 2005, non-compensation expenses were $67.7 million, up $8.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2004, mainly attributable to the pre-tax restructuring charge of $8.6 million, which was comprised of approximately $4.9 million in severance benefits and approximately $3.7 million related to the reduction of leased office space. The firm expects these expense reduction measures to generate annual pre-tax cost savings of approximately $10.0 million. Compared to the second quarter of 2004, the following describes changes in other non-compensation expenses:

    --  Marketing and business development expense decreased $1.1 million, or
        10.0 percent, mainly driven by efforts to reduce costs.
    --  Outside services expenses increased $2.4 million, or 24.3 percent,
        mainly driven by increased outsourcing of certain technology and
        operations functions, which were previously performed in-house with
        the associated expense mainly reflected in compensation and benefits.
        In addition, deal-related expenses increased.
    --  Other operating expenses declined $1.5 million, or 19.0 percent,
        driven by lower minority interest expense on private equity
        investments and lower charitable contributions due to lower
        profitability.  These decreases were partially offset by increased
        litigation-related expenses.

For the quarter, pre-tax operating margin was 0.9 percent, down from 10.0 percent in the year-ago period and 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2005. The pre-tax restructuring charge negatively impacted pre-tax margin for the quarter by approximately 480 basis points. For the first six months of 2005, annualized return on average tangible shareholders' equity(1) was 4.2 percent compared to 14.1 percent for the first six months of 2004.

During the second quarter of 2005, Piper Jaffray repurchased 623,750 shares of the company's outstanding common stock at an average price of $29.45 under its previously announced repurchase program. The remaining authorization under the program is for the repurchase of up to 351,250 shares.


    Business Segment Review

    Capital Markets

In the second quarter of 2005, Capital Markets recorded $97.6 million in net revenues, down $16.0 million, or 14.1 percent, from the second quarter of 2004 and up $5.7 million, or 6.1 percent, from the first quarter of 2005. Segment pre-tax operating income for the quarter was $12.9 million, down 25.3 percent compared to the prior-year period and up 11.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 2005.

Institutional Sales and Trading

Total institutional sales and trading revenues were $48.8 million, down 6.8 percent from the second quarter of 2004, primarily attributable to lower institutional cash equities sales and trading revenues and lower revenues from interest rate products, partially offset by the addition of APT (algorithmic and program trading) revenues. Compared to the first quarter of 2005, net revenues improved by $6.1 million, or 14.4 percent, mainly driven by stronger revenues from interest rate products, improved convertible sales and trading results and increased net commissions from equity institutional sales and trading.

Investment Banking

For the second quarter of 2005, total investment banking revenues were $48.0 million, down $13.9 million, or 22.4 percent, compared to the second quarter of 2004. Compared to the first quarter of 2005, total investment banking revenues were relatively unchanged.

    --  Fixed income underwriting revenues increased $5.2 million, or
        35.9 percent, compared to the year-ago period and increased
        $8.1 million, or 69.9 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2005.
        The increases compared to both periods were mainly driven by increased
        municipal underwritings.
    --  Equity underwriting revenues declined $3.9 million, or 18.8 percent,
        compared to the second quarter of 2004 and declined $3.4 million, or
        16.6 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2005.  The declines
        compared to both periods were primarily due to lower convertible
        underwriting activity.
    --  Mergers and acquisitions revenue declined $15.2 million, or
        57.4 percent, compared to the year-ago period, and declined
        $5.3 million, or 32.2 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2005.
        The declines compared to both periods were mainly attributable to the
        timing of some deals moving into the third quarter of 2005.

For the three months ended June 30, 2005, segment operating expenses were $84.7 million, a decrease of $11.7 million, or 12.1 percent, from the same period a year ago. The decline in expenses was primarily driven by lower variable compensation expense due to lower net revenues and profitability.

For the second quarter of 2005, segment pre-tax operating margin was 13.2 percent, compared to 15.2 percent in the same quarter of last year and 12.5 percent in the first quarter of 2005. The decline as compared to the year-ago period was largely due to lower revenues as previously described.

During the second quarter of 2005 Piper Jaffray announced the strategic repositioning of its fixed income business, which is included within its Capital Markets segment. The firm will focus its fixed income resources in the areas where it has the greatest strengths, namely public finance and proprietary high-yield research. All public finance investment banking and municipal sales and trading activities were combined within a single group named Public Finance Services. Sales, trading and research for corporate high-yield and structured products were integrated with equities and investment banking in a new group named Corporate and Institutional Services.

In addition, the firm recently announced the strengthening of its global healthcare franchise through the expansion of its UK subsidiary Piper Jaffray Ltd. As part of this expansion, Piper Jaffray Ltd. recently hired 14 healthcare specialists, further committing to a strong presence in the United Kingdom and advancing its healthcare platform.

Following is a recap of completed deal information for the second quarter of 2005:

    --  14 equity offerings, raising a total of $2.5 billion in capital, and
        placing the firm 15th nationally, based on the number of completed
        transactions.  Of the 14 transactions, Piper Jaffray lead-managed
        5 deals.  (Source:  Dealogic)
    --  6 mergers and acquisitions transactions with an aggregate enterprise
        value of $616.0 million.  The number of deals and the enterprise value
        include disclosed and undisclosed transactions.  (Source:  Piper
        Jaffray)
    --  126 tax-exempt issues with a total par value of $1.5 billion, ranking
        the firm fifth nationally.  In the Midwest, the firm completed
        82 public finance issues for the quarter with a total par value of
        $586.7 million, again ranking the firm the lead underwriter of Midwest
        tax-exempt issues.  Rankings are based on the number of completed
        transactions.  (Source:  Thomson Financial)


    Private Client Services

Private Client Services recorded net revenues of $84.1 million for the second quarter of 2005, down $5.4 million, or 6.1 percent, compared to the second quarter of 2004 and down $5.1 million, or 5.7 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2005. The decline in net revenues compared to both periods was primarily attributable to decreased transaction revenues driven by lower private client volumes, partially offset by increased revenues from fee-based accounts. For the three months ended June 30, 2005, segment pre-tax operating income was $2.1 million, down 70.2 percent from the second quarter of 2004, and down 56.4 percent from the first quarter of 2005.

In the second quarter of 2005, segment operating expenses were $82.0 million, essentially unchanged from the second quarter of 2004 and down $2.4 million, or 2.8 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2005. Compared to the year-ago period, lower variable compensation expense due to lower net revenues was partially offset by higher litigation-related expenses. Segment pre-tax operating margin was 2.5 percent, compared to 7.9 percent in the same quarter of last year and 5.4 percent in the first quarter of 2005. The decline as compared to both periods was due to lower net revenues and the relatively fixed nature of non-compensation expenses.

Corporate Support and Other

Corporate Support and Other pre-tax operating loss was $3.7 million for the second quarter of 2005, an increase of $1.4 million over the second quarter of 2004 and unchanged from the first quarter of 2005. The change compared to the second quarter of 2004 was mainly due to a net $1.0 million gain on a private equity investment recorded in the year-ago period.



     Additional Shareholder Information

                            As of June 30,    As of March 31,   As of June 30,
                            2005              2005              2004
     Full time employees:   2,907             2,976             3,043
     Financial advisors:    863               866               850
     Client assets:         $51 billion       $50 billion       $49 billion
     Shareholders' equity:  $725.0 million    $736.6 million    $700.7 million
     Book value per share:  $38.74            $38.09            $36.24
     Tangible book value
      per share:            $21.58            $21.47            $20.43

       (1)  Tangible shareholders' equity equals total shareholders' equity
            less goodwill and identifiable intangible assets.  Annualized
            return on average tangible shareholders' equity is computed by
            dividing annualized net earnings by average monthly tangible
            shareholders' equity.  Management believes that annualized return
            on tangible shareholders' equity is a meaningful measure of
            performance because it reflects the tangible equity deployed in
            our businesses.  This measure excludes the portion of our
            shareholders' equity attributable to goodwill and identifiable
            intangible assets.  The majority of our goodwill is a result of
            the 1998 acquisition of our predecessor company, Piper Jaffray
            Companies Inc., and its subsidiaries by U.S. Bancorp.  The
            following table sets forth a reconciliation of shareholders'
            equity to tangible shareholders' equity.  Shareholders' equity is
            the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to tangible
            shareholders' equity.


                                           Average for the
                                       Six Months    Six Months
                                         Ended         Ended         As of
            (Dollars in thousands)      June 30,      June 30,      June 30,
                                          2005          2004          2005
            Shareholders' equity        $731,388      $684,631      $724,979
            Deduct: Goodwill and
                     identifiable
                     intangible
                     assets              321,434       305,635       321,034
            Tangible shareholders'
             equity                     $409,954      $378,996      $403,945


    Conference Call

Andrew S. Duff, chairman and chief executive officer, and Sandra G. Sponem, chief financial officer, will host a conference call to discuss second quarter 2005 financial results on Wednesday, July 20, 2005, at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT). The call can be accessed via live audio webcast available through the firm's web site at http://www.piperjaffray.com or by dialing (866) 244-9933, or (706) 758-0864 internationally, and referring to conference ID 7195370 and the leader's name, Andrew Duff. Callers should dial in at least 15 minutes early to receive instructions. A replay of the conference call will be available beginning at approximately 1 p.m. ET on July 20, 2005 at the same web address or by calling (800) 642-1687, or (706) 645-9291 internationally.

About Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) is a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments: Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Through its chief operating subsidiary, Piper Jaffray & Co., the firm has served corporations, government and non-profit entities, institutional investors and the financial advisory needs of private individuals since 1895. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has approximately 3,000 employees in 104 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at http://www.piperjaffray.com .

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical or current facts, including statements about beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements cover, among other things, the future prospects of Piper Jaffray Companies. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including the following: (1) we have agreed to certain restrictions to preserve the tax treatment of our spin-off from U.S. Bancorp, which reduce our strategic and operating flexibility, (2) we have agreed to indemnify U.S. Bancorp for taxes and related losses resulting from any actions we take that cause the spin-off to fail to qualify as a tax-free transaction, (3) developments in market and economic conditions have in the past adversely affected, and may in the future adversely affect, our business and profitability, (4) we may not be able to compete successfully with other companies in the financial services industry, (5) our underwriting and market-making activities may place our capital at risk, (6) an inability to readily divest or transfer trading positions may result in financial losses to our business, (7) use of derivative instruments as part of our risk management techniques may place our capital at risk, while our risk management techniques themselves may not fully mitigate our risk exposure, (8) an inability to access capital readily or on terms favorable to us could impair our ability to fund operations and could jeopardize our financial condition, (9) we may make strategic acquisitions of businesses, engage in joint ventures or divest or exit existing businesses, which could cause us to incur unforeseen expense and have disruptive effects on our business but may not yield the benefits we expect, (10) our technology systems are critical components of our operations, and the failure of those systems may disrupt our business, cause financial loss and constrain our growth, (11) our business is subject to extensive regulation that limits our business activities, and a significant regulatory action against our company may have a material adverse financial effect or cause significant reputational harm to our company, (12) regulatory capital requirements may adversely affect our ability to expand or maintain present levels of our business or impair our ability to meet our financial obligations, (13) our exposure to legal liability is significant, and could lead to substantial damages and restrictions on our business going forward, (14) we may suffer losses if our reputation is harmed, (15) provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and of Delaware law may prevent or delay an acquisition of our company, which could decrease the market value of our common stock, and (16) other factors identified in the document entitled "Risk Factors" filed as Exhibit 99.1 to our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2005, and in our subsequent reports filed with the SEC. These reports are available at our Web site at http://www.piperjaffray.com and at the SEC Web site at http://www.sec.gov . Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.

     Since 1895.  Member SIPC and NYSE.



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Results of Operations

                                                                  Percent
                                                                 Inc/(Dec)
                                  For the Three Months Ended   2Q05    2Q05
    (Amounts in thousands,        June 30, March 31, June 30,   vs.     vs.
     except per share data)         2005     2005     2004     1Q05    2Q04
    Revenues:

      Commissions and fees        $67,879  $70,160  $65,776   (3.3)%    3.2%
      Principal transactions       38,158   34,864   50,243    9.4    (24.1)
      Investment banking           55,024   56,322   68,180   (2.3)   (19.3)
      Interest                     17,052   15,602   14,044    9.3     21.4
      Other income                 11,267   10,727   16,407    5.0    (31.3)

        Total revenues            189,380  187,675  214,650    0.9    (11.8)

      Interest expense              9,715    8,607    7,318   12.9     32.8

        Net revenues              179,665  179,068  207,332    0.3    (13.3)

    Non-interest expenses:

      Compensation and benefits   110,383  109,402  127,690    0.9    (13.6)
      Occupancy and equipment      14,419   14,027   13,683    2.8      5.4
      Communications               10,299   10,405   10,712   (1.0)    (3.9)
      Floor brokerage and
       clearance                    4,732    4,203    4,559   12.6      3.8
      Marketing and business
       development                 10,014   10,650   11,131   (6.0)   (10.0)
      Outside services             12,374   10,639    9,951   16.3     24.3
      Cash award program            1,061    1,136    1,269   (6.6)   (16.4)
      Restructuring-related
       expense                      8,595      -        -      N/M      N/M
      Other operating expenses      6,196    7,127    7,647  (13.1)   (19.0)

        Total non-interest
         expenses                 178,073  167,589  186,642    6.3     (4.6)

    Income before income tax
     expense                        1,592   11,479   20,690  (86.1)   (92.3)

    Income tax expense                355    4,144    7,710  (91.4)   (95.4)

    Net income                     $1,237   $7,335  $12,980  (83.1)%  (90.5)%


    Earnings Per Common Share
      Basic                         $0.07    $0.38    $0.67  (81.6)%  (89.6)%
      Diluted                       $0.06    $0.38    $0.67  (84.2)%  (91.0)%

    Weighted average number of
     common shares
      Basic                        19,028   19,378   19,333   (1.8)%   (1.6)%
      Diluted                      19,195   19,523   19,395   (1.7)%   (1.0)%


     N/M - Not Meaningful



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Results of Operations

                                                For the Six Months Ended
    (Amounts in thousands,                  June 30,     June 30,    Percent
     except per share data)                   2005         2004      Inc/(Dec)
    Revenues:

      Commissions and fees                  $138,039     $135,288       2.0%
      Principal transactions                  73,022      102,319     (28.6)
      Investment banking                     111,346      133,042     (16.3)
      Interest                                32,654       27,371      19.3
      Other income                            21,994       30,807     (28.6)

        Total revenues                       377,055      428,827     (12.1)

      Interest expense                        18,322       12,095      51.5

        Net revenues                         358,733      416,732     (13.9)

    Non-interest expenses:

      Compensation and benefits              219,785      257,397     (14.6)
      Occupancy and equipment                 28,446       27,415       3.8
      Communications                          20,704       21,170      (2.2)
      Floor brokerage and clearance            8,935        9,359      (4.5)
      Marketing and business development      20,664       21,793      (5.2)
      Outside services                        23,013       19,109      20.4
      Cash award program                       2,197        2,340      (6.1)
      Restructuring-related expense            8,595          -         N/M
      Other operating expenses                13,323       15,287     (12.8)

        Total non-interest expenses          345,662      373,870      (7.5)

    Income before income tax expense          13,071       42,862     (69.5)

    Income tax expense                         4,499       16,092     (72.0)

    Net income                                $8,572      $26,770     (68.0)%


    Earnings Per Common Share
      Basic                                    $0.45        $1.38     (67.4)%
      Diluted                                  $0.44        $1.38     (68.1)%

    Weighted average number of common
     shares
      Basic                                   19,141       19,333      (1.0)%
      Diluted                                 19,297       19,380      (0.4)%


     N/M - Not Meaningful



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Segment Data

                             For the Three Months Ended     Percent Inc/(Dec)
                           June 30,   March 31,   June 30,  2Q05 vs. 2Q05 vs.
    (Dollars in thousands)   2005       2005        2004      1Q05     2Q04
    Capital Markets
      Net revenues         $97,598    $91,945    $113,645      6.1%   (14.1)%
      Operating expenses    84,726     80,418      96,405      5.4    (12.1)
      Segment pre-tax
       operating income    $12,872    $11,527     $17,240     11.7%   (25.3)%
      Segment pre-tax
       operating margin       13.2%      12.5%       15.2%


    Private Client
     Services
      Net revenues         $84,081    $89,199     $89,506     (5.7)%   (6.1)%
      Operating expenses    81,983     84,388      82,465     (2.8)    (0.6)
      Segment pre-tax
       operating income     $2,098     $4,811      $7,041    (56.4)%  (70.2)%
      Segment pre-tax
       operating margin        2.5%       5.4%        7.9%


    Corporate Support and
     Other
      Net revenues         $(2,014)   $(2,076)     $4,181     (3.0)%    N/M
      Operating expenses     1,708      1,647       6,503      3.7    (73.7)%
      Segment pre-tax
       operating loss      $(3,722)   $(3,723)    $(2,322)    (0.0)%   60.3%
      Segment pre-tax
       operating margin        N/M        N/M         N/M


    Reconciliation to
     total income
     before taxes:
      Total segment
       pre-tax operating
       income              $11,248    $12,615     $21,959    (10.8)%  (48.8)%
      Cash award program     1,061      1,136       1,269     (6.6)   (16.4)
      Restructuring-related
       expense               8,595          -           -      N/M      N/M
      Total income before
       income tax expense   $1,592    $11,479     $20,690    (86.1)%  (92.3)%
      Pre-tax operating
       margin                  0.9%       6.4%       10.0%


     N/M - Not Meaningful



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Segment Data

                                              For the Six Months Ended
                                           June 30,     June 30,    Percent
    (Dollars in thousands)                   2005         2004      Inc/(Dec)
    Capital Markets
      Net revenues                         $189,543     $225,689     (16.0)%
      Operating expenses                    165,144      189,547     (12.9)
      Segment pre-tax operating income      $24,399      $36,142     (32.5)%
      Segment pre-tax operating margin         12.9%        16.0%


    Private Client Services
      Net revenues                         $173,280     $185,901      (6.8)%
      Operating expenses                    166,371      171,840      (3.2)
      Segment pre-tax operating income       $6,909      $14,061     (50.9)%
      Segment pre-tax operating margin          4.0%         7.6%


    Corporate Support and Other
      Net revenues                          $(4,090)      $5,142       N/M
      Operating expenses                      3,355       10,143     (66.9)%
      Segment pre-tax operating loss        $(7,445)     $(5,001)     48.9%
      Segment pre-tax operating margin          N/M          N/M


    Reconciliation to total income
     before taxes:
      Total segment pre-tax operating
       income                               $23,863      $45,202     (47.2)%
      Cash award program                      2,197        2,340      (6.1)
      Restructuring-related expense           8,595            -       N/M
      Total income before income tax
       expense                              $13,071      $42,862     (69.5)%
      Pre-tax operating margin                  3.6%        10.3%


     N/M - Not Meaningful



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Supplemental Information

                                                                Percent
    (Dollars in thousands)      For the Three Months Ended      Inc/(Dec)
    Capital Markets             June 30, March 31, June 30, 2Q05 vs. 2Q05 vs.
                                  2005     2005      2004    1Q05     2Q04
    Institutional Sales and
     Trading
      Fixed Income              $19,354  $16,318   $22,080   18.6%   (12.3)%
      Equities                   29,418   26,320    30,241   11.8     (2.7)

    Total Institutional Sales
     and Trading                 48,772   42,638    52,321   14.4     (6.8)

    Investment Banking
      Underwriting
        Fixed Income             19,758   11,632    14,540   69.9     35.9
        Equities                 16,960   20,338    20,888  (16.6)   (18.8)
      Mergers and Acquisitions   11,240   16,574    26,399  (32.2)   (57.4)

    Total Investment Banking     47,958   48,544    61,827   (1.2)   (22.4)

    Other Income                    868      763      (503)  13.8      N/M

      Capital Markets Net
       Revenues                 $97,598  $91,945  $113,645    6.1%   (14.1)%


     N/M - Not Meaningful



    Piper Jaffray Companies
    Preliminary Unaudited Supplemental Information

    (Dollars in thousands)                        For the Six Months Ended
    Capital Markets                            June 30,    June 30,  Percent
                                                 2005        2004    Inc/(Dec)
    Institutional Sales and Trading
      Fixed Income                             $35,672     $43,683    (18.3)%
      Equities                                  55,738      64,752    (13.9)

    Total Institutional Sales and Trading       91,410     108,435    (15.7)

    Investment Banking
      Underwriting
        Fixed Income                            31,390      29,260      7.3
        Equities                                37,298      47,806    (22.0)
      Mergers and Acquisitions                  27,814      39,551    (29.7)

    Total Investment Banking                    96,502     116,617    (17.2)

    Other Income                                 1,631         637    156.0

        Capital Markets Net Revenues          $189,543    $225,689    (16.0)%
SOURCE  Piper Jaffray Companies
    -0-                             07/20/2005
    /CONTACT:  Jennifer A. Olson-Goude, Investor Relations, +1-612-303-6277,
or Susan L. Beatty, Media Relations, +1-612-303-5680, both of Piper Jaffray
Companies/
    /Web site:  http://www.piperjaffray.com /
    (PJC)

CO:  Piper Jaffray Companies
ST:  Minnesota
IN:  FIN
SU:  ERN CCA

AM-SH
-- CGW010 --
8918 07/20/2005 08:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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