Monday, April 4, 2011

Stocks In Focus: LUV, ABT, PFE, CCL, LB

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) plunged as much as 5% in Monday's pre-market trading after the company  said that said that it will scrub 100 more flights today and reported “small, subsurface cracks” in two jets during inspections for metal fatigue after a plane’s fuselage tore open in flight. The dropped flights follow 300 cancellations yesterday, or 9 percent of the schedule, said Chris Mainz, a spokesman. Checks on 21 Boeing Co. 737-300 planes found two that needed repair, and 19 others were returned to service, Southwest said. The Associated Press reported cracks were found in three jets.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Enanta Pharmaceuticals on Monday announced 12-week results from a Phase 2 study of ABT-450/r, an investigational, oral protease inhibitor being developed for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Study results show that 92 percent (22 of 24) of patients taking ABT-450/r once daily, combined with standard of care, achieved complete early virologic response at 12 weeks. Results were presented at the European Association for the Study of Liver Disease (EASL) annual meeting in Berlin. Shares of Abbott Laboratories rallied more than 2% in Monday's pre-market trading.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) on Monday agreed to sell its Capsugel business to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. for $2.375 billion in cash. Capsugel, the world leader in hard capsules and an innovator in drug-delivery systems, generated approximately $750 million in revenue and manufactured more than 180 billion hard capsules in 2010.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) rose more than 1% in pre-market trading following a bullish article in Barron's.

LaBarge Inc. (AMEX: LB) on Monday agreed to be acquired by Ducommun (NYSE: DCO) for $19.25 per share in cash, or approximately $340 million, including debt assumed. The transaction represents a premium of just over 10 percent to LaBarge's Friday close of $17.43.

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