NEW YORK — The shares of Pan American World Airways rose on very active trading Thursday in response to published reports that New York financier Donald J. Trump had acquired a sizable portion of the airline's stock.
However, most observers said they do not think the builder and casino owner intends to try to take control of the company.
Apparently as a result of the report concerning Trump's purchases, Pan Am stock was the third-most active Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, with a volume of 4,668,800. It closed at $6.125, up 50 cents.
Trump is said to own nearly 17% of Pan Am. Of this, about 12% is owned by Resorts International, which Trump is acquiring from the estate of its founder, James M. Crosby.
Open Market Purchases
In addition, the reports said, Trump has accumulated additional Pan American stock--just under 5% of the total--on the open market for about $4.50 a share. According to Chiles Larson, a spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump would not have to file a report with the agency disclosing his own purchases until they exceeded 5%.
Both the airline and a spokeswoman for Trump declined to comment on the reported purchases.
"I think of him as a trader in the Pan Am stock, not someone who wants to take over the airline," said Louis Marckesano, airline analyst with Janney Montgomery & Scott, a Philadelphia stock broker. "He may be trying to excite interest in Pan Am and take his profits and run. That's what he did with Allegis shares" a few weeks ago.
"It just does not make sense (for Trump to acquire the airline)," Anthony Hatch, an airline analyst with Argus Research, said, "unless he can make a positive impact--such as solving Pan Am's domestic route inadequacy, getting a new labor contract or dressing it up to sell."