Archive for the ‘Financial Stocks’ Category

Emdeon Inc. (EM) continues to prospers on takeover by Blackstone

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Late last week, Emdeon Inc. (NYSE: EM) shares climbed13.5% to $18.44 after the healthcare information-technology provider agreed to be bought by private-equity firm Blackstone Group. Opening the week today, Emdeon share prices have relented slightly, still hovering over the $17.00 mark.

A news release published early August 4 said the Nashville-based Emdeon, a leading provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Blackstone, under which this Blackstone fund will acquire a controlling interest in Emdeon in a transaction valued at approximately $3 billion that will result in Emdeon becoming a private company. Hellman Friedman will maintain a significant minority equity interest in Emdeon.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, holders of Emdeon common stock will receive $19.00 per share in cash. Emdeon’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and is recommending that Emdeon’s stockholders adopt the merger agreement.

Emdeon CEO George Lazenby was quoted in the release as saying, “This transaction provides for a great return for our investors. We are excited about the opportunity to move forward with two excellent investors in Blackstone and Hellman Friedman. They each have an in-depth understanding of our business and industry, and will be tremendous partners as we continue to pursue our strategy of making healthcare efficient.

Lazenby concluded, “We are looking forward to building upon our leadership position in healthcare information technology and services, made possible by the continued support of our customers and the dedication and commitment of our employees.”

Emdeon is a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management solutions, connecting payers, providers and patients in the system. Emdeon’s product and service offerings integrate and automate key business and administrative functions of its payer and provider customers throughout the patient encounter.

Transatlantic Holdings Inc. (TRH) leaps on bid from Berkshire-based company

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Transatlantic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TRH) shares rose 5.6% to $47.75, a day after National Indemnity Co., a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) offered $3.2 billion to acquire the reinsurer. Volume for Transatlantic numbered 1.4 million shares, compared to a daily average of about 790,000.

A news release out Sunday, August 7 noted that Transatlantic confirmed it had received a proposal from National Indemnity to acquire all of Transatlantic’s outstanding shares of common stock for $52.00 per share.

The release quoted a letter to Transatlantic CEO Robert Orlich from National Indemnity CEO Ajit Jain as saying “With your stock trading at $45.83, I have to believe that you will find our offer to buy all of Transatlantic shares outstanding at $52.00 per share to be an attractive offer… Should you decide to accept this offer, your agreement that should the deal not close for any reasons that are under your control by December 31, 2011, a break-up fee of $75.0 million would be paid to us.”

Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. is a leading international reinsurance organization headquartered in New York, with operations on six continents. Its subsidiaries, Transatlantic Reinsurance Company®, Trans Re Zurich Reinsurance Company Ltd. and Putnam Reinsurance Company, offer reinsurance capacity on both a treaty and facultative basis ― structuring programs for a full range of property and casualty products, with an emphasis on specialty risks.

MasterCard Inc. (MA) charges ahead on Q2 profit

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) shares rose 12.3% to $335.13 after the payments-network reported second-quarter profit that topped market expectations. Volume for the stock crowded 4.3 million shares, better than four times its daily average.

A news release issued August 3 noted that the company reported net income of $608 million, up 32.8%, and earnings per diluted share of $4.76, up 36.4%, in each case versus the year-ago period.

Net revenue for the second quarter of 2011 was $1.7 billion, a 22.1% increase versus the same period in 2010. On a constant currency basis, net revenue increased 18.0%.

“Solid global performance, including strong increases in volume and processed transactions, fueled double-digit revenue growth this quarter,” said MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga in the same release. “While payment volumes have risen across our base customers, were also seeing new business such as the portfolio conversions of SunTrust and Sovereign, as well as new processing relationships in the Netherlands and in Brazil, contribute to growth.”

Banga added, “During the quarter, work continued in the mobile commerce category highlighted by an agreement with Google and multiple partners to launch the Google Wallet, as well as our alliance with Isis, in the U.S. Additionally, the previously announced Orange and Barclaycard contactless mobile payment service became available to U.K. consumers in May. Other notable agreements we executed include a commercial alliance with China Union Pay to enable its cards for cross-border e-Commerce, and a new, multi-product agreement with Swedbank in the Nordic and Baltic regions.”

MasterCard is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.

Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN) collects black ink, stock spikes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN) shares jumped 25% to $3.85 after the mortgage insurer reported swinging to a profit in the second quarter. Volume for the stock closed in on 7.5 million shares by 11 a.m. ET, towering over an all-day average of below four million.

The company put out a news release August 2, announcing that net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 was $137.1 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, which included combined gains from the change in fair value of derivatives and other financial instruments of $193.8 million. This compares to a net loss of $475.1 million, or $4.31 per diluted share, for the prior-year quarter, which included combined net losses from the change in fair value of derivatives and other financial instruments of $587.8 million. Book value per share at June 30, 2011, was $8.48.

In the same release, Radian CEO S.A. Ibrahim noted, “As we face an uncertain U.S. economy and housing market, we believe that Radians risk-to-capital ratio of 19.8 to 1 and the financial flexibility of our holding company cash position provide a competitive advantage for our mortgage insurance business. We were pleased with the continued drop in mortgage insurance delinquencies in the quarter and another period of operating profitability for our financial guaranty business.”

Radian Group Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, provides private mortgage insurance and related risk mitigation products and services to mortgage lenders nationwide through its principal operating subsidiary, Radian Guaranty Inc. These services help promote and preserve homeownership opportunities for homebuyers, while protecting lenders from default-related losses on residential first mortgages and facilitating the sale of low-down-payment mortgages in the secondary market.

Universal Forest Products Inc. (UFPI) higher on Q2 results

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Universal Forest Products Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) shares jumped 18.4% to $28.49 after the supplier of building materials late Wednesday reported second-quarter results. Volume for the stock topped 829,000 shares or eight times its normal daily average

Net earnings for the quarter were $4.3 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $13.7 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010. Profits in the quarter were negatively affected by severance and early retirement charges totaling $0.11 per diluted share after deducting income tax expense.

“These are challenging times, but we are positioning the Company for better results. We have cut costs and implemented plans intended to maintain our strengths and capitalize on our opportunities moving forward,” outgoing CEO Michael B. Glenn was quoted in a July 13 press release as saying.

“We’re maintaining a keen focus on costs and on prudent, conservative decision-making that will create opportunities for sustainable growth and success.”

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Universal Forest Products, Inc. is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to subsidiaries that design, manufacture and market wood and wood-alternative products for DIY/retail home centers and other retailers.