Price of Crop Genetics' offering falls short of its expectations

July 24, 1992|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,Staff Writer

Crop Genetics International Corp. felt the biotechnology industry's doldrums yesterday, as the Hanover company's offering of 2.5 million shares was priced at $4 a share, well below the price the company had originally expected.

"The market conditions were such that this is the best we could do," said Joseph W. Kelly, the company's chief executive.

The company also sold 1 million fewer shares than it had planned when it announced the offering in April. Alex. Brown & Sons Inc., which acted as underwriter in the offering, has an option to sell an additional 375,000 shares that would provide $1.5 million more.

Crop Genetics, which is listed on the NASDAQ over-the-counter system, closed yesterday at $4.125 a share, down 75 cents.

In the first quarter of 1992, Crop Genetics' stock reached a high of $11.25 after DuPont Co. agreed to give the company $3.5 million to test and market pesticides made from natural viruses. But the stock has fallen dramatically since then, along with most other biotechnology stocks. The day the company announced the public offering in April, the stock closed at $5.75 a share.

The company chose to go ahead with the offering, Mr. Kelly said, to fulfill a commitment to DuPont.

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