Archive for the ‘Financial Stocks’ Category

Fundtech Ltd. (FNDT) mulls new offer, shares stronger

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Fundtech Ltd. (Nasdaq: FNDT) U.S.-listed shares climbed 31.7% to $23.13 after the Israeli financial services firm said an offer from private-equity company GTCR topped an all-stock bid from S1 Corp. Volume for the stock topped 793,000 shares, way more than the daily average of around 62,500.

A news release out Sept. 15 noted that the board of directors of Fundtech, whose American headquarters are located in Jersey City, has determined that a binding offer it has received from GTCR Fund X/A LP and its affiliated entities, which contemplates the acquisition of all of Fundtech’s outstanding ordinary shares at $23.33 per share in cash, constitutes a “Company Superior Offer” under Fundtech’s previously announced merger agreement with S1 Corporation.

Under the terms of GTCR’s binding offer, an entity formed by GTCR would merge with Fundtech under the laws of the State of Israel, and as a result of the merger all outstanding ordinary shares of Fundtech would be converted into the right to receive $23.33 per share in cash.

Fundtech was founded in 1993, and is a leading provider of software and services to banks of all sizes around the world.

Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSPT) nearly doubles on drug review

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: TSPT) shares rose 93.7% to $6.47 a day after the drug developer said U.S. regulators might finish a new review of its sleep drug within two months. Volume for the stock exceeded 3.8 million, towering above a daily average of only 235,000.

A news release out Sept. 14 noted that the company, headquartered in Point Richmond, Calif., plans to resubmit to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) its New Drug Application (NDA) seeking approval of Intermezzo® (zolpidem tartrate sublingual tablet) for use as-needed for the treatment of insomnia when a middle of the night awakening is followed by difficulty returning to sleep.

The plan to resubmit the Intermezzo® NDA results from a meeting today with the FDA during which the FDA generally agreed with a Transcept proposal to reduce the recommended Intermezzo® dose for women from 3.5 mg to 1.75 mg, and to keep the recommended Intermezzo® dose for men at 3.5 mg. The Transcept proposal also includes new instructions stating that Intermezzo® should only be taken if patients have at least four hours of bedtime remaining, and that patients should refrain from driving for at least one hour after arising and until five hours after dosing Intermezzo®.

In the same release, Transcept CEO Glenn A. Oclassen was quoted as saying “We are pleased that the FDA has expressed general agreement with our proposal to address the concerns expressed in the July 2011 Intermezzo® Complete Response Letter. We look forward to working with the FDA to complete the review of this important new treatment strategy for insomnia characterized by middle of the night awakening.”

Transcept is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary products that address important therapeutic needs in the field of neuroscience.

Penn Millers Holding Corporation (PMIC) to be bought, shares take off

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Penn Millers Holding Corporation (Nasdaq: PMIC) shares vaulted 23.4% as Thursday’s session wound to a close to $20.12, on word of a possible takeover by ACE Ltd. Volume for the stock totaled 581,000 shares, or about 100 times its daily average.

A news release out Sept. 8 revealed that the company, which provides property and casualty insurance through its wholly owned subsidiary, Penn Millers Insurance Company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement on Sept. 7, to be acquired by a subsidiary of ACE Limited for $20.50 per share in cash.

The purchase price represents a premium of 39% over the $14.75 per share closing price of PMIC on August 15, the date of its announcement that it was reviewing strategic alternatives. It also represents approximately 101% of book value (108% of fully diluted book value) of Penn Millers at June 30.

The release quotes Penn Millers CEO Douglas A. Gaudet thus: “This transaction delivers outstanding returns to our shareholders and additional benefits to our policyholders, agents, brokers, and employees. We are excited to join ACE, one of the largest and most respected insurance companies in the world.

Gaudet continued, “We believe ACE’s national platform and product capabilities will provide strong growth opportunities to our well-established agency network. Our state-of-the-art loss control and claim services in agribusiness and other specialty niches will round out ACE’s agricultural insurance capabilities.”

Based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Penn Millers Holding Corporation provides property and casualty insurance through its wholly owned subsidiary, Penn Millers Insurance Company.

Zillow Inc. (Z) stock climbs on quarterly numbers

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Zillow Inc. (Nasdaq: Z) shares gained 19.9% to $31.49, a day after the online real-estate information provider reported its first quarterly financial results since going public in late July. Volume for the stock came in at 436,000 shares, just nosing out its full-day average.

A news release posted August 24 reported quarterly revenues increased 116% to $15.8 million from $7.3 million in the second quarter of 2010.

Marketplace revenues increased 269% to $9.7 million from $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2010. Display revenues increased 30% to $6.1 million from $4.7 million in the second quarter of 2010.

GAAP net income for the second quarter 2011 was $1.6 million, compared to a net loss of $2.0 million in the same period a year ago and a net loss of $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Said CEO Spencer Rascoff in the same piece, “The second quarter was outstanding for Zillow® with record revenues, traffic and mobile usage. It marks our first profitable quarter on a GAAP net income basis and our fourth consecutive profitable quarter on an Adjusted EBITDA basis. We’re extremely pleased with our progress and rapid growth, yet we believe we’ve only scratched the surface of our opportunity.”

The Seattle-based Zillow calls itself the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs.

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX) hits stock high amid takeover rumors

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX) shares gained 14.3% to $27.48, after The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported on its website that the operator of an electronic bond-trading platform might be on the auction block. Volume for the stock was 1.7 million shares, or about 11 times its normal daily volume.

The Journal piece, citing folks close to the situation and substantiated Wednesday by Reuters, said that if MarketAxess decides on a sale, the company could fetch around $1.5 billion.

Though the names of the interested parties are not known, potential bidders might include Bloomberg LP, SunGard Data Systems BAINSD.UL and private equity players, said Niamh Alexander, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

“We also consider exchanges but the price might be relatively high for them, nonetheless an all-cash transaction by ICE or CME could still be accretive,” Alexander said in the Reuters story.

MarketAxess is big in electronic trading of corporate bonds and is making headway in credit derivatives ahead of planned regulations that will shift more of that market toward venues like MarketAxess.