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ECKERD, RORER MOVE ON MERGER SPECULATION DURING OTHERWISE FLAT WEEK

Executive Summary

Jack Eckerd (up 4-3/4to 30-5/8) and Rorer (up 3-1/2 to 37), moving on merger speculation, were the leaders on the "F-D-C" Index during the otherwise sluggish week ended Aug. 23. Overall, declines kept pace with advancing issues as 22 gained, 21 lost ground and 8 stocks remained unchanged. The Composite showed no change for the week, while the Dow inched up .4% to 1318.32. Rorer's 3-1/2 point move occurred on Aug. 22-23 when the "Street" rumor mill once again began to see Pfizer at Rorer's door. Rumors tying Rorer with Pfizer surfaced last month based on reports of a speech by Rorer's new chief exec Robert Cawthorn to the firm's European managers that supposedly gave some indication of an impending merger. Also feeding the rumors of a Rorer/Pfizer wedding is Cawthorn's former association with Pfizer. Before assuming the top operating spot at Biogen, Cawthorn had held the position of exec VP at Pfizer-Europe. Eckerd's move stemmed from an Aug. 21 announcement by the drug chain that it was willing to discuss a merger with interested parties and that it already has had "preliminary discussions" with several firms. Also showing gains for the week were Merck (up 2-1/4 to 117) and Abbott (up 2-1/8 to 10) among the Diversifieds. The several stocks showing price weakness during the week included Bolar (down 4-1/4 to 13-1/8) and Upjohn (down 3 to 108-3/8). FDA has asked Bolar not to market over 60 unapproved reformulated products. Chart omitted.

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