Noting it was unaware of any current takeover effort, Fruit of the Loom Inc. said Friday it has adopted a shareholder rights plan. A company implements a rights plan, or poison pill, to make any hostile takeover bid prohibitively expensive. Fruit of the Loom plans to distribute preferred purchase rights on March 22. They will become exercisable if any entity acquires 15 percent or more of the
firm’s common shares. The company’s stock lost 1 Friday to close at 24 3/4, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 171.24 points to end at 5470.45, its third biggest point drop ever.

A junior apparel chain beat Wall Street’s mean fourth-quarter estimate: Pacific Sunwear of California’s profits ran up 14 percent to $1.7 million, or 32 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 30 cents a share. Sales soared 38 percent to $36.4 million, as same-store sales rose 4.6 percent. Profits at the 183-unit chain for the year ended Feb. 4 plunged 32 percent to $2.6 million, or 49 cents.

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