US Airways issues 21.85M shares, pockets $179M - East Valley Tribune: Business

US Airways issues 21.85M shares, pockets $179M

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Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:28 am | Updated: 9:49 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Tempe-based US Airways said Thursday it is issuing 21.85 million shares of its stock at $8.50 per share for public purchase.

Merrill Lynch opted to underwrite an initial 19 million shares offered and later added the full optional overallotment of 2.85 million shares.

After underwriting expenses, the carrier said it will pocket $179 million from the sale.

The deal is scheduled to close Tuesday.

Stock trading was halted for a few hours Thursday while the airline figured out the offering price.

Shares, which had closed at $9.11 Wednesday, slipped closer to the new-share price after trading resumed, finally settling at $8.86.

UBS analyst Kevin Crissey said the airline likely wanted to take advantage of the quick run-up of stock prices in recent weeks thanks to falling oil prices. Crude oil sank from a high topping $150 a barrel just weeks ago to $113.

US Airways "issued stock today," Crissey wrote Thursday in a report. "This is not a surprise to us, isn't the first offering in the sector this year, and likely won't be the last. Airline managements have to be concerned that fuel prices could reverse direction at anytime and rally again. If this were to happen the share prices would almost certainly fall back. We view (US Airways') issuance as a way to take advantage of the recent strength in the sector."

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