In other items: Cell Therapeutics sells shares, raises $18.4 million; two rallies tomorrow protest Alaska Airlines' vendor plan; and new report lowers last year's losses at Flow International.

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The European Union’s second-highest court will issue its eagerly anticipated decision tomorrow on whether antitrust sanctions imposed on Microsoft should be frozen, a court official said yesterday.

Microsoft has asked that penalties imposed by the European Commission be suspended until the Redmond company’s court challenge of the decision is completed years from now.

Last March, European antitrust regulators ordered Microsoft to sell a version of Windows without a digital-media player and to license information about its operating system to rivals.

Cell Therapeutics

Firm sells shares, raises $18.4 million

Cell Therapeutics said yesterday that it has raised $18.4 million by selling 2.6 million shares of common stock to several institutional investors at $7.10 a share.

The shares were sold at a discount to market value. Cell Therapeutics stock closed yesterday at $8.46 a share.

Cell Therapeutics said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to use the money to develop its cancer drugs, expand its commercialization of Trisenox, and prepare for the market introduction of Xyotax.

The company said in the filing that it has enough cash to fund its operations through the first half of 2005. It said it plans to raise more money to fully fund its programs.

Alaska Airlines

Two rallies tomorrow protest vendor plan

Angered by Alaska Airlines’ plan to have an outside vendor take over baggage-handling duties, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is having two rallies tomorrow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The IAM said nearly 600 workers could lose their jobs under Alaska’s outsourcing plan, which was presented to the union Nov. 9. Alaska Air Group CEO Bill Ayer has said the airline must reduce its costs by $300 million a year to remain viable amid increasing competition.

The rallies will be at the Flag Pavilion at the southern entrance to the airport at 182nd Street and Pacific Highway South.

Flow International

New report lowers last year’s losses

Flow International lost $3.1 million less last year than previously reported, according to restated financial reports the Kent-based manufacturer filed yesterday.

Flow, which makes ultrahigh-pressure water-jet equipment, lost $11.5 million in fiscal 2004 instead of the previously reported $14.6 million, according to the restated reports. The company’s 2003 loss of just under $70 million was reduced by $25,000; its 2002 loss grew by $1.86 million.

Among other changes, the company revised the accounting treatment for foreign-exchange gains and losses related to its overseas subsidiaries; reclassified a senior credit facility on its balance sheet; and corrected the valuation of warrants issued in May 2001.

Flow has yet to report full financial results for the first and second quarters of fiscal 2005.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and Reuters