Valley Says It May Go on Block; Shares Soar

Shares of Valley National Corp. gained in heavy volume Friday on news that the Arizona banking company may put itself up for sale in two years. The renewal of an "aggressive buy" recommendation by Donaldson, Lufkin bank analyst Thomas W. Brown also contributed, observers said.

Valley soared $1.50 to a new 52-week high of $26.125 in morning activity, but then gave back ground. Near the close on on Friday, it was up $1.125, on volume of 2.36 million shares.

The action was sparked by a Dow Jones Professional Investor report that Valley chief executive officer Richard J. Lehmann had "suggested" during a meeting with analysts that the company would be for sale when its earnings recovery is complete.

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