Shares of Applied Extrusion ( AETC) rose 24% to $6.62 after the company said it has received unsolicited acquisition offers. The maker of plastics used in soda bottle labels and food packaging didn't provide details on the offers or the parties who made them, but said the board of directors will "evaluate all available options to maximize shareholder value." Dial Corp. ( DL) was gaining 9% to $21.15 after the company raised its second-quarter guidance, saying its results will beat the consensus on stronger sales. The consumer products manufacturer expects to beat the consensus of 25 cents by at least 7 cents a share. The company attributed the better-than-expected results to strong domestic sales, favorable product costs, and better results in Argentina. Dial also announced plans to invest additional dollars on new product introductions in the second half of the year. Donnelly Corp. ( DON) tacked on 34% to $27 on news that it will be acquired by Canada-based Magna International for $320 million in stock and debt assumption. Auto parts maker Magna said it will offer a fraction of a share valued at $28 for each Donnelly share as long as the average trading price for Magna shares remains between $61 and $80. The company will also assume $95 million of Donnelly's interest-bearing debt. DuPont ( DD) was climbing about 2% to $44.03 after the company raised its second-quarter earnings guidance to reflect strength across most of its product lines. DuPont expects to earn 64 cents to 67 cents a share in the quarter, above the First Call consensus estimate of 56 cents. The company also announced a second-quarter noncash impairment charge related to its evaluation of goodwill.
The Day's Losers
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals ( BCRX) fell 51% to $1.07 on news that the company is discontinuing development of peramivir, its oral influenza inhibitor, after Phase III trials showed "no statistically significant difference" in the primary efficacy endpoint of the study. The biopharmaceutical company said the trials showed no difference in length of time from the dosage to the onset of influenza symptoms. Peramivir is the company's most developmentally advanced drug. Shares of Cytyc ( CYTC) plunged 31% to $7.86 on news that the Federal Trade Commission has voted to block the company's proposed acquisition of Digene ( DIGE). The FTC said the $420 million merger of the cancer testing tool manufacturers "raises serious competitive concerns within the highly concentrated market for this important diagnostic tool. It is likely that prices would increase." In response, Cytyc lowered its 2002 and 2003 guidance, saying its results would be well below previous expectations and the consensus estimate. Broadcasting company Emmis Communications ( EMMS) dropped 11% to $19.95 after the company posted a wider first-quarter loss and provided new guidance below the consensus. The company lost $167.8 million, or $3.28 a share, including $167.4 million in accounting charges, compared with a loss of $15.7 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue dropped to $136.8 million from $137.3 million last year. Emmis said it expects to see revenue of $138.8 million for the second quarter, down from $141.4 million a year ago and below the consensus estimate of $143.8 million. Shares of Metrix Corp. ( MERX) slid 26% to $10.07 after the circuit board maker said its loss for the quarter ending in August will be wider than previously estimated. The company expects to lose 24 cents to 28 cents a share in the quarter, below the consensus of a loss of 17 cents. The stock was also hurt by downgrades from buy to hold by Breen Murray and Needham & Co.