Posts Tagged ‘Financial Stocks’

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.

Comstock Homebuilding Companies (CHCI) stock builds on new strategic alliance

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Comstock Homebuilding Companies (Nasdaq: CHCI) shares raced ahead 27.2% to $1.45, on word of a new strategic alliance with SunBridge Capital Management, LLC. Volume for the stock topped 393,000 shares, or more than 13 times its normal daily average.

The purpose of the strategic alliance is to facilitate Comstock’s and SunBridge’s ongoing pursuit of certain homebuilding and multi-family rental projects in the Washington, D.C. market.

The strategic alliance calls for project funding of up to $25 million from each party to capitalize agreed-upon potential investments. Further demonstrating its commitment to its relationship with Comstock, SunBridge will also provide up to $20 million of senior secured financing thereby strengthening Comstock’s ability to pursue new real estate investment and development opportunities.

In a news release out Wednesday, July 13, Comstock CEO Christopher Clemente, “We are delighted to team with SunBridge. This is a significant alliance for Comstock as we continue to uncover and execute against opportunities within the best real estate market in the nation.

Clemente concluded, “This new relationship provides additional capital and allows us to pursue our strategic objective of disciplined growth supported by a conservative capital structure as we focus on enhancing shareholder value.”

Based in Reston, Va. Comstock is a multi-faceted real estate development and services company, boasting substantial experience in building a diverse range of products including multi-family, single-family homes, townhouses, mid-rise condominiums, high-rise condominiums and mixed-use (residential and commercial) developments has positioned Comstock as a prominent real estate developer and homebuilder in the Washington, D.C. market.