Updated from 3:52 p.m. EDT
, the parent of United Airlines, plunged Monday morning after a six-year old story proclaiming that the carrier had filed for bankruptcy protection mistakenly made the rounds.
UAL shares opened the session at $12.16 and plummeted as low as $3. By the afternoon, the shares had mostly recovered. They closed at $10.92, down 11.2%.
The confusion began after a 2002
story headlined "United Files For Bankruptcy" appeared on some Web sites with a date of Sept. 6, 2008. United filed for Chapter 11 in December 2002 and left bankruptcy in early 2006.
The article was apparently posted to
terminals by a firm called Income Securities Advisors. The firm later retracted the posting.
The story that was erroneously published had originally appeared in the
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
right after United's bankruptcy. The
are owned by Tribune.
United said it "has demanded a retraction from the
and is launching an investigation." The airline also said it "continues to execute its previously announced business plan to successfully navigate through an environment marked by volatile fuel prices and continues to have strong liquidity."
Late Monday, Tribune said the story "was apparently picked up by an investment advisory and research firm and republished as though it was current," but noted that no story appeared today or over the weekend on the
site or any Tribune site regarding United filing for bankruptcy.
In a research report, Standard & Poor's airline analyst Jim Corridore reiterated a hold rating on the airline.