Shares in Hythiam Inc. closed down 15 percent Monday after the Los Angeles-based substance abuse services company reported an increased four quarter loss despite sharply higher revenues. The company said it lost $8.6 million (-17 cents per share) in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $10.8 million (-27 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenues were up more than tenfold to $11.8 million. For the year, the company report an annual loss of $45.5 million (-99 cents per share) compared to a loss of $38.3 million (-96 cents) in 2006. Revenues were $44.1 million, up from $3 million. Shares in Hythiam closed at $2.31 in trading Monday on the Nasdaq.

Sherman Oaks-based auto paint and body repair facility operator Earl Scheib Inc. said Monday that it has retained the investment banking firm of Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. to begin exploring strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value. "We continue to be very focused on our mission to serve the best interests of our stockholders," said Chief Executive Chris Bement. "By hiring Wedbush Morgan Securities and its experienced bankers who specialize in middle market companies, we express our belief that the company's current market capitalization does not reflect the true value of our strong position and opportunities in the aftermarket automotive paint and collision repair industry." The Pink Sheet traded issue closed down 2 cents to $3.08 Monday.

American Apparel Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $3 million (6 cents per share), compared to a loss of $1.5 million (-3 cents per share) the same period a year earlier. Sales were $111 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, a 48 percent hike from the same period a year earlier. For the year, net income was $15.5 million, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million in 2006. Sales for the year also saw a 36 percent hike to $567 million, helped by a 29 percent jump in annual same-store-sales. The company also announced plans to open 40 to 45 stores in 2008. Shares in American Apparel closed down nearly 11 percent Monday to $8.95 on the Amex.

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