Ultrasystems Inc.'s Employee Stock Ownership Plan intends...

Ultrasystems Inc.'s Employee Stock Ownership Plan intends to begin immediately buying an additional $1-million worth of Ultrasystems stock on the open market, Ultrasystems' officials said Thursday. The stock plan currently owns about about 375,000 shares, or 4.8% of the common stock in the Irvine engineering and construction company. In recent weeks, the stock price has fallen from about $16 per share to $7.75.

Ultrasystems' board of directors announced Dec. 14 plans to buy $1 million worth of stock for the employee stock program in response to a depressed stock price of about $9 per share. A company spokeswoman said that $1 million purchase has been completed. Ultrasystems stock closed at $7.75 a share, up 25 cents Thursday in over-the-counter trading.

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