PhillyInc: 2 local companies suffer in rocky market day

Posted: April 17, 2013

On a rocky day for the U.S. stock market, shares of two local companies fared especially poorly.

UniTek Global Services Inc. lost half of its market value Monday, making it the worst performer on the Nasdaq.

The plunge was a reaction to the Blue Bell company's disclosure Friday evening that it would need to restate financial results for 2012 and 2011.

In a statement, the company noted that a board investigation had turned up what it said were "fraudulent activities" at a business unit. UniTek announced the immediate termination of several executives and employees, including its chief financial officer.

UniTek shares closed Monday at $1.52, down 49.5 percent or $1.49.

Meanwhile, shares of Discovery Laboratories Inc. slumped 22 percent, or 54 cents, closing at $1.85, after announcing yet another delay in launching its key product. Discovery Labs' decline made it the second-worst performing stock on the Nasdaq Monday.

The Warrington biotech firm received regulatory clearance for its Surfaxin treatment for a respiratory illness in premature infants more than a year ago, but it needed the Food and Drug Administration's approval of some updated product specifications.

On Monday, Discovery Labs said it had heard back from the FDA, and the result is another delay in Surfaxin's market debut. The company expects a possible six-month delay, with sales now expected to begin during the fourth quarter.

It's the latest delay for Surfaxin, a synthetic substance that has spent years in development and was originally scheduled to launch last fall. Discovery Labs said it plans to respond to the FDA within two months, and the FDA review of that response can last up to four months.

Earnings

 Tuesday: Fulton Financial; Wednesday: Crown Holdings, PNC Financial Services Group, SLM; Thursday: Knoll, Penn National Gaming; Friday: National Penn Bancshares.


Contact Mike Armstrong

at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com, or @PhillyInc on Twitter. Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.phillyinc.biz.

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