Investment: Charter Members in Space

Four minutes after the new stock went on sale last week at $20 a share, its price jumped to $27. Brokers throughout the U.S. were swamped with calls for it, and buyers even lined up in Paris. The chief underwriter—Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith—set up a bank of 32 Teletypes in Manhattan to take orders. In Washington, one sobbing woman asked whether she could sue a broker who claimed that he had no shares; in Houston, demand was ten times greater than the supply. Why the commotion? The federally sponsored

Communications Satellite Corp. had come on the market, and...

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