UAL Falls as Bankruptcy Looms

Sealed Air soars after deal on asbestos claims; one suitor looking to catch Rawlings; plus more of today's stocks to watch

Shares of UAL (UAL ) plunged after mechanics at its United Airlines unit rejected $700 million in proposed pay cuts over 5 1/2 years. The mechanics' vote makes bankruptcy virtually inevitable for United and UAL, says Standard & Poor's, which lowered UAL's long-term debt ratings to CCC- from CCC.

Shares of Sealed Air (SEE ) surged Friday after a delayed opening. The company reached agreement in principle to resolve all current and future asbestos-related claims, pending fraudulent transfer claims made against the company and its affiliates. Halliburton (HAL ) and Honeywell (HON ) also ended higher as Sealed Air's settlement spreads hopes other companies are close to resolving their asbestos issues as well.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA ) says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final approval for the company's abbreviated new drug application for Pergolide Mesylate Tablets, the first generic approval for Pergolide Mesylate Tablets. The FDA says Teva is entitled to 180 days of marketing exclusivity.

EP Medsystems (EPMD ) received market clearance notification from the FDA for its ALERT System, a catheter system used for treating atrial fibrillation.

CTI Molecular (CTMI ) shares were higher after a Wall Street Journal article that said the company was behind the expected rise in Commercial Positron Emission Tomography scan sales to over $1 billion this year.

Tecumseh Products (TECUA ) agreed to purchase Invensys plc's electric motors operations, commonly known as FASCO Motors, for $415 million.

Dynacq International (DYII ) posted fiscal 2002 earnings per share of $1.03, vs. 75 cents one year ago, on a 48% revenue rise.

Rawlings Sporting Goods (RAWL ) says its board is evaluating an expression of interest for a potential acquisition of the company. The stock offer represents a premium to Rawlings' current share price. Primarily as a result of these developments, the company adopted a new shareholder rights plan.

Lehman reportedly upgraded Patterson Dental (PDCO ) to overweight from equal-weight.

Fresenius Medical (FMS ) reached a settlement deal in principle with asbestos litigants of all fraudulent conveyance claims arising out of the bankruptcy of W.R. Grace. Fresenius will pay $15 million to Grace.

Landair (LAND ) hired McDonald Investments and Morgan Keegan as financial advisors to review a $13 per share buyout proposal received from CEO Scott Nisonger and president John Tweed and to solicit interest in a potential alternative transaction.

Lexicon Genetics (LEXG ) filed a shelf registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for 12 million shares.

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