Doll Drums

"Hopes and dreams," one analyst called L.L. Knickerbocker, which shot from 5 a share to 48 in six weeks (BW-Sept. 4). Sure enough, Knickerbocker stock tumbled to 23 5/8 by Aug. 29. The next day, though, it soared back to 32 1/2. A surge in sales of the company's TV-pitched Marie Osmond dolls? More likely, say some Wall Streeters, the surge was fueled by anticipation of a 5-for-1 split. CEO Louis Knickerbocker says the roller-coaster ride "has nothing to do with fundamental issues. The company is very strong."

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