BALA CYNWYD - Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp.'s third-quarter profit picture is just one of the reasons why Wall Street likes the little insurance company so much better in these grim times than it did in the full bull days of 1997.
Another reason: a $100 million capital offering it did this spring, a sophisticated deal underwritten by Merrill Lynch & Co. and one sure to make the small surplus and specialty commercial lines insurer an eye-catcher on Wall Street.
Stepped-up trading added a couple bucks to the stock price recently, following release of the third-quarter figures - net income up 36 percent to $6 million on a 38.6 percent increase in net written premiums.
Last year was a different story, at least on the buy side.
Sluggish end-of-September numbers earned …