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Financial Services Top Stories Of The Day – January 23, 2007 January 23, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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ACQUISITIONS DRIVE BANK OF AMERICA, WACHOVIA

Bank of America’s 4Q net jumps 47%, to $5.26 billion, or $1.16 a share, while Wachovia posts a 35% earnings increase to $2.3 billion, or $1.20 a share, as the banks offset a tough interest-rate environment with revenue from acquisitions. Bank of America’s revenue climbs 34% to $18.46 billion, while Wachovia’s revenue rises 31%. Bank of America shares fall 1%; Wachovia edges higher.

FIRM SETTLES ‘DOUBLE-CHARGING’ CASE

Pacific Growth Equities, its co-CEO and its head trader have agreed to pay a combined $520,000 to settle allegations involving double-charging customers hundreds of thousands of dollars for stock trades.

AMERISERV 4Q NET MORE THAN DOUBLES

Ameriserv Financial Bank holding company posts net income of $581,000, or 3c a share, from $220,000 a year earlier. Net interest income falls by $472,000 to $5.9 million, as non interest income declines $139,000 to $8.49 million.

BLACKROCK 4Q NET DOUBLES ON MERRILL DEAL

Asset-management firm’s 4Q net more than doubles to $169 million, or $1.28 a share, boosted by merger with Merrill’s investment-management business. Adjusted earnings rise 33% to $1.61 a share. Shares edge higher.

PNC FINANCIAL 4Q NET RISES 6%

Financial services firm posts 4Q net income of $376 million, or $1.27 a share. Excluding cost of integrating BlackRock/MLIM, profit is $1.30 a share, meeting expectations. Net interest income rises 0.5% to $571 million.

SUSQUEHANNA BANCSHARES 4Q NET DOWN 23%

Susquehanna Bancshares posts earnings of $21.4 million, or 41c a share, beating analysts’ estimates by 2c. Net interest income rises to $63.8 million from $62.2 million last year.

RLI UP AS 4Q NET TRIPLES

Insurance firm’s shares add 4% after 4Q earnings rise to $55.7 million, or $2.23 a share, boosted by sale of the company’s stake in Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage, favorable loss developments and declining costs.

MORTGAGE FIRM TURNS FURLOUGHS INTO LAYOFFS

Mortgage Lenders Network USA, which abruptly shut down Dec. 29, sends layoff notices to about 830 furloughed employees, the Hartford Courant reports. Privately held company has a portfolio of $17.8 billion.

TOKYO BOURSE, NYSE NEAR ALLIANCE AGREEMENT

The world’s two largest stock exchanges in Tokyo and New York are in the final stages of alliance talks and may come to a final agreement as soon as the end of the month, the head of the Tokyo bourse says.

HARLEYSVILLE 4Q NET JUMPS 35%

Pennsylvania bank posts net income of $13.3 million, or 45c a share, as net interest income dropped 8.7%. Provision for loan losses declines to $1.2 million.

AON NAMES MCGILL CEO OF GLOBAL UNIT

Steve McGill is named CEO of newly created Aon Global unit, which combines several of firm’s international corporate and risk-management units into one organization. McGill will continue as CEO of Aon Risk Services.

NATIONAL CITY 4Q NET MORE THAN DOUBLES

Bank posts net income of $842 million, or $1.36 a share, up from $398 million. Excluding items, it earns 64c a share. Analysts expected 69c a share. Net interest income falls 5% to $1.1 billion, as net interest margin is flat at 3.73%.

COLONIAL, COMMERCIAL BANKSHARES TO MERGE

Colonial BancGroup will merge with Commercial Bankshares in a deal valued at $317 million. Under the agreement, Commercial Bankshares shareholders will receive about $157.5 million in cash and 6.5 million Colonial shares.

MERCANTILE BANKSHARES NET FALLS 2.7%

Financial holding company posts net of $72.9 million, or 57c a share, as it incurs costs of $9.2 million for PNC Financial Services Group’s deal to acquire the company. Excluding items, cash operating earnings rise 8.5% to $83 million.

CENTRAL PACIFIC 4Q NET FALLS 2.9%

Hawaii-based bank posts net income of $18.8 million, or 61c a share, amid 8c in charges related to portfolio repositioning, tax-liability adjustments and employee-benefit liabilities. Analysts expected EPS of 66c. Shares rise 1%.

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