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Fortune can't explain 'significant and unusual' stock swing

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Fortune Industries Inc.’s thinly traded stock rarely gets much attention. Shares of the Indianapolis-based personal employer organization seldom move more than a few pennies on a daily basis.

Until Monday, that is, when the stock jumped as much as 285 percent from Friday’s closing price and trading volume shot through the roof.

Fortune shares rose from 20 cents each at the end of Friday to a high of 77 cents on Monday before closing at 49 cents, an increase of 145 percent.

More than 2.8 million shares changed hands Monday, up from a daily average of 52,000 over the past three months.

The New York Stock Exchange found the trading so “significant and unusual” that it asked the company to issue a press release to explain the activity.

“Ordinarily, it is the company's policy not to comment on unusual market activity, but the company has confirmed that it is not aware of any explanation beyond its most recent [SEC] filings for the high volume or unusual price activity of its shares today,” Fortune said in a prepared statement.

Those March 8 SEC filings dealt with Fortune’s plan to go private through a $13.3 million buyout offer by the firm’s top two executives.

The plan, detailed in another public filing in February, calls for an acquisition by CEP Inc., a holding company led by Fortune Industries CEO Tena Mayberry and Chief Financial Officer Randy Butler.

The filing says the two will pay $7 million in cash and the remaining $6.3 million with a promissory note to acquire common and preferred shares held by the estate of company founder Carter Fortune, who died in August.

CEP would be based in Nashville, Tenn.

Founded in 2000, Fortune has shifted its focus in recent years from a diversified holding company to a professional employer organization. It has clients in 47 states.

Fortune shares were up 4 cents Tuesday morning, to 53 cents each.




 

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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