Just when California thrifts begin catching the eye of investors, activist shareholder Michael Price appears to be turning the other way.

The prominent head of Heine Securities Corp. sold nearly half his 8.6% stake in Bay View Capital Corp. during the past month. The sale of 257,200 shares in the $3.4 billion-asset San Mateo thrift, at prices ranging from $35.56 to $39 a share, gained Mr. Price a total of $9.6 million.

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