The decision that sent United Airlines hurtling toward bankruptcy this week boosted shares of Dulles-based Atlantic Coast Airlines, a small carrier that counts United as a customer. In the days after the government's rejection of United's $1.8 billion loan-guarantee application, Atlantic Coast's stock surged more than 12 percent.
Some analysts believe that United's travails will translate into opportunities for its regional partners. Atlantic Coast flies for United Express out of Dulles International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Shares of Atlantic Coast closed Friday at $12.15, making it one of the week's biggest local gainers.
The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index closed at 164.55 Friday, down just .33 point. The NVTC Potomac Tech 60, an index made up of 60 technology companies with a large presence in the Washington area, closed at 577.14, down 40.49.
Shares of GTSI rose 9.5 percent after the Chantilly information technology vendor said that it won a major contract from the National Institutes of Health. Under the deal's terms, GTSI will provide IT products -- including desktop, laptop and handheld computing devices -- for five years with five one-year extensions possible. The company values the contract at $6 billion over 10 years. Shares of GTSI closed Friday at $14.50. The stock is up 53 percent for the year.
Stock in Allied Research climbed 6 percent, rising after the Vienna-based maker of munitions said it would change its corporate name to Allied Defense Group Inc. The company said the new name better reflects the nature of its business. Two weeks ago, Allied announced that its chairman and chief executive, J. H. Binford Peay III, would step down. Shares of the company closed at $17.08 Friday; they remain up 23 percent for the year.
The departure of Guilford Pharmaceuticals' president helped drag down the drugmaker's stock 29 percent last week, making it one of the week's biggest local losers. David P. Wright said he is leaving the Baltimore biotech in search of other opportunities. He held the position for 11 months.
The resignation of Guilford's second-ranking executive comes at a critical time. The company, which has cut 20 percent of its staff this year, is expecting a decision from the Food and Drug Administration that could expand the use of its Gliadel Wafer, a brain-cancer treatment. Last month Guilford said its third-quarter loss grew to $14.6 million (49 cents per share) from $13.8 million (46 cents) a year earlier. Shares of Guilford closed at $3.51 Friday. The stock is down 71 percent for the year.
Shares of Reston-based Nextel Communications shed 6 percent of their value even as Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry pagers, announced a deal with the company to introduce a BlackBerry with Nextel's popular "walkie-talkie" function. It has been a tough year for wireless telecommunications companies, as analyst after analyst has predicted that an excess of capacity will lead to eroding profit margins. Bear Stearns cut its rating on the wireless sector last Friday because of what it described as increased industry risk and price appreciation. Shares of Nextel closed at $12.90 last week.
The stock remains up 18 percent for the year.