Lee, for your information, this is the latest news I could find.|
Friday the 13th Unlucky? Not for
Hechinger Stock Trading Led to
By Jerry Knight
Monday, June 23, 1997; Page F30
The Washington Post
Friday the 13th was a very lucky
day for some investors who made a
heck of a profit in Hechinger Co.
stock in a heck of a short time.
Nasdaq Stock Market records
strongly suggest that somehow word
leaked out about the $3 a share
bid for Landover-based Hechinger
that was announced last Tuesday.
Hechinger Class A shares (HECHA)
had been trading for half that
price over the previous few weeks
and volume had been low, averaging
about 240,000 shares a day.
During the previous week trading
picked up slightly on June 12, to
about 350,000 shares, and the
stock inched up to $1.50 a share
from $1.44. But on Friday the
13th, trading surged to 640,000
shares, nudging the price up to
$1.69 by the close of the session.
The increased volume and
unexpected gain in the price were
clues to Hechinger watchers and
short-term traders that something
might be happening.
Monday morning, more buy orders
came in. Volume jumped to more
than 917,000 shares, pushing the
stock to more than $2 a share for
the first time since March.
On Tuesday, the unusual trading
set off the alarms at Nasdaq's
surveillance bunker in Rockville,
where computers monitor trading in
thousands of stocks.
Nasdaq's computers aren't the only
ones programmed to spot such
moves. Short-term traders use the
same techniques and join in the
buying when they see a stock start
to move. Those traders rarely
bother to find out why a stock is
suddenly moving up; they just
climb aboard the train.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq market
watchers called Hechinger to find
out whether something was going on
that investors were entitled to
know about. Under pressure from
Nasdaq, the company then disclosed
the unsolicited offer from
California dealmaker Leonard
Green wants to buy Hechinger and
the Builders Square Inc. chain,
which is owned by Kmart Corp. Like
Hechinger, Builders Square is
getting creamed by Home Depot Inc.
and Lowe's Cos. Green figures that
merging Hechinger and Builders
Square will create a company big
enough to stand up to Home Depot.
If successful, Green's strategy
could produce handsome long-term
gains, but for short-term profits
it's hard to beat the money that's
already been made. A share of
Hechinger stock that sold for
$1.50 on June 12 was worth $2.50
just five days later. That's 66
percent in a week.
The traders who paid $1.69 a share
on Friday the 13th had a gain of
27.7 percent when the market
closed a week later at 2.156 1/4.
c Copyright 1997 The Washington