Astrotech Corp. (Nasdaq: ASTC) sprinted out to a gain of gained 68.32 percent in price in Tuesday morning trade to $1.70 Volume in the first hour was a staggering 1,683,045 shares, overwhelming its usual full-day share volume of 67.095. The Austin-based provider of commercial aerospace services, today announced that its Astrotech Space Operations subsidiary has won a fully-funded task order under the $35-million Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for NASA.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) was among Tuesday morning’s volume leaders, trading in 104,926,884 shares, nearly a quarter of its mormal daily volume of 474,398,000 shares. The banking behemoth slipped in price, though, by 1.56 percent to $4.12.
Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) fell in price early Tuesday by 23.42 percent to $1.70. Volume of 21,334,242 shares was nearly seven times the bank’s three-month daily average for volume.On Sunday, Ireland became the second euro zone country to ask for aid and will officially begin talks with the European Union regarding a bailout that could reach $110 billion.
GreenHunter Energy Inc. (AMEX: GRH) tacked on 15.98 percent to its price in early afternoon Wednesday, to $1.38. Volume on GRH shares was an unusually heavy 166,854, about five times its daily average.The Grapevine, Texas-based company announced last week that it has closed on approximately $30 million in tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Bonds.
SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) did a brisk business early Wednesday, having traded in 123,355,762 shares, rapidly approaching its daily average of 193,469,000. The index-based issue inchedup 0.22 percent in price to $121.88.
Mercantile Bancorp Inc. (AMEX: MBR) took it on the chin during early Wednesday afternoon trading, giving back 22.48 percent in price to $1.00. Volume in MBR stock surpassed 79,631 shares, or nearly 20 times its daily average. Last week, the Quincy, Illinois-based regional bank announced it would terminate its shareholder rights offering without acceptance of any of the subscriptions exercised thereunder.
Federal Agriculture Mortgage (NYSE: AGM) shot ahead 12.67 percent in price by mid-morning Wednesday to $14.85. Volume approaching noon registered at 276,770 shares, more than double its daily average. The lender known as Farmer Mac Tuesday reported net income of $6 million, or 56 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $17.9 million, or $1.74, a year earlier.
BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. (NYSE: BJ) enjoyed a 9.37-percent surge in price to $45.95 late Wednesday morning. Volume in BJ shares was a hot 2,428,532 shares, compared to a daily average of 782,079 shares. BJ’s, a leading warehouse club chain in the eastern United States, has set next Wednesday, Nov. 17, as the date for announcing its third-quarter results.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) was among the volume leaders as Wednesday morning drew to a close. Ford saw 54,740,099 shares trade hands early, compared to a daily average of 68,220,100 shares. F gained 2.8% in price to $16.52. The carmaker reported Tuesday that its Ford Focus will be the official car of the 2011 International CES held on Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.
Maidenform Brands Inc. (NYSE: MFB) slumped in price 12.96 percent late Wednesday morning to $25.25. Shares traded totaled 961,100, trumping its daily average of 266,811. The underwear maker Maidenform Brands Inc. reported its third-quarter net income fell 20 percent from a year ago. Net income fell to $12.8 million, or 55 cents per share, from $16 million, or 67 cents per share, as revenue rose 13 percent to $145.8 million from $128.7 million last year.
Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) soared 215 percent Thursday afternoon to $15.13, on volume of 230,986, roughly comparable to its three-month daily average of 248,017 shares. The news comes only a week after the Greensboro-based yarn producer announced that its third quarter net income quadrupled to $10.2 million, from $2.5 million during the year-ago quarter. UFI reported net sales reached $174 million in Q3, up roughly 22-percent over $143 million in the third quarter of 2009.
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) found itself atop the leader board among biggest volumes on Thursday with 408,716,516 shares, swiftly approaching its three-month daily average of 442,066,000. Shares in the banking group climbed 2.39 percent in afternoon trading to $4.29. The favorable activity closely follows word that Citigroup was ruled not liable Thursday in a legal dispute with Terra Firma Capital Partners LP over its 2007 acquisition of British recording company EMI Group PLC. The latter party, a private-equity firm, had alleged it was duped by Citigroup into making a rich bid for EMI and had sought billions of dollars in damages.
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (NasdaqGM: LIOX) missed out on the general gaiety of the market Thursday, its price taking a pasting of 23.4 percent in afternoon trading to $3.83, on dismal third-quarter earnings news. Share volume of 3,437,377 was about 10 times LIOX’s three-month daily average. Lionbridge lost $3.8 million, or seven cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with a loss of $1 million, or two cents per share, a year earlier.
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Shares of Sun Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNBC) surged 47 percent in morning trading on Thursday after the company announced that billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross will be acquiring a 25 percent stake in the New Jersey-based bank chain.
Ross, who has acquired stakes in banks in Florida and Michigan, said he expects thousands of U.S. banks to fail as a result of the financial crisis. Ross and the bank’s founding Brown family will buy $100 million of common and preferred stock at $4.00 a share, equal to a 24.9% stake, in Sun Bancorp, Inc., the parent of Sun National Bank. The transaction still has to be approved by shareholders.
The Vineland-based Sun Bancorp, Inc. has $3.5 billion in assets and 70 branches in the state of New Jersey. Ross will join the boards of Sun Bancorp and Sun National, the bank said. Sun National Bank — Sun Bancorp’s main subsidiary — could be the first of many banks Ross acquires in New Jersey, he told the New York Times on Wednesday.
The cash injection would also raise Sun Bancorp’s Tier 1 risk-weighted capital — a common measure of capital strength — to 13 percent or above. The bank said that level was above the 9.5 percent required by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under an April agreement.
Check out this interview with Wilbur Ross, conducted in August of last year. Great insight into his views on the banking industry: