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Immunex Trades Up on Plan to Seek Enbrel Use for Early-Stage Arthritis

Shares of



were up 11 to 118 in late


trading after the company announced plans to seek federal approval in the third quarter for use of its


drug in patients with early, active rheumatoid arthritis, following positive results during a Phase III trial. The drug is already approved for later-stage RA patients.

Separately, the company said it was advising doctors not to begin Enbrel therapy in patients with an active infection after six deaths were reported among the 25,000 patients who have been using the drug since it was approved in November.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

American Oncology


reported first-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, on target with the 14-analyst estimate and 3 cents ahead of the year-ago figure.

ECI Telecom

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posted first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, 2 cents below the five-analyst outlook but ahead of the year-ago 49 cents.



reported fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, 2 cents higher than the four-analyst view and above the year-ago 45 cents.

Highlands Insurance


reported first-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, missing the four-analyst prediction for 24 cents and falling below the year-ago 27 cents. The company also said it named Willis King Jr. chairman, president and CEO, effective June 1. King will replace Richard Haverland, who is retiring.

Meadowbrook Insurance


reported a first-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst view but behind the year-ago profit of 36 cents.



American Modern Insurance Group

unit estimated it will record losses of about $5 million in the second quarter from last week's tornadoes in the Midwest.



said its April same-store sales surged 17.6%.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Act Manufacturing


agreed to buy

CMC Industries


for about $59.2 million. According to the deal, each CMC Industries share will be exchanged for 0.5 of an Act share.

Columbia Energy Group


extended the expiration date for a definitive merger agreement with

Consolidated Natural Gas


to May 11 from May 8.

International Speedway


agreed to acquire the 88% of

Penske Motorsports


it doesn't already own for $50 a share.

Lincoln National


agreed to transfer a block of its direct individual disability income business to

Metropolitan Life Insurance

and will cut 30 jobs as a result.

Offerings and stock actions

Kinder Morgan

filed for a 7.25 million-share IPO for about $20 each in June. The company is the sole shareholder of

Kinder Morgan GP

, which is the general partner of

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners


. The company hopes to trade on the

New York Stock Exchange

under the symbol KMI.

National Discount Brokers


filed with regulators for a 2.6 million-share offering.

Network Associates


said it will buy back up to $100 million in stock.

Lead underwriter

Goldman Sachs

priced Inc.'s

(TSCM:Nasdaq) 5.5 million-share IPO top-range at $19 a share. Inc. is the publisher of this Web site. Earlier today, the offering's price range was lifted to $17 to $19 from $11 to $13.


International Rectifier


said its co-chief executive, Derek Lidow, will resign June 15 but will remain a director. Co-CEO Alex Lidow will become sole chief executive.

General Motors


said it received a favorable tax ruling from the

Internal Revenue Service

allowing it to contribute 12.4 million shares of

Delphi Automotive Systems


to an employee beneficiary trust.