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Rand Capital Corp. said Tuesday its investments are worth $432 more than they were three months ago, giving the Buffalo venture capital firm its first increase in net assets in seven quarters.

While the size of the increase was small, Rand executives said it was a sign that the investment strategy and cost-cutting program they adopted early last year are working.

Rand's new strategy restructured its portfolio to include fewer stocks and more investments that provide some sort of current return. The firm also cut its costs by 21 percent last year.

"It's a long road, but all the cost-cutting, the increased income and some of the new investments paying off all kind of combined," said Allen F. "Pete" Grum, Rand's president. "Our strategy is one more of slow growth, rather than home runs."

While the $432 increase in Rand's assets to $8.63 million was not enough to boost the firm's net asset value above $1.51 per share, Grum said he believes the venture capital firm has turned the corner. "We're excited," he said. "We think it's the beginning of a long string of positive results."

Rand currently has $3.3 million of its assets in cash and is seeking new investment opportunities to put that money to use, Grum said.

Rand said it earned $50,000 on a $100,000 investment it made during the spring in 3D Ventures, a New York limited liability company that creates, produces and markets three-dimensional television events in Venezuela. 3D Ventures also makes and sells the cardboard and plastic glasses that are needed to view 3D programming on a conventional television set.

Rand also received $1.26 million from its $500,000 investment in ARS Inc., a Buffalo-based manufacturer and distributor of automobile radiators and heat transfer products. It then reinvested $1 million in a new issue of subordinated debt that ARS, which has about $60 million in annual revenues, sold during the last month.

"I think they're a local success story," Grum said. "It's a fabulously successful company."

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