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Financial Services Top Stories Of The Day – January 24, 2007 January 24, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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IN CITIGROUP OUSTER, A BATTLE OVER EXPENSES

Todd Thomson’s improper spending led to his firing as CEO Charles Prince struggles to cut costs at the banking giant. Thomson used more than $5 million to sponsor a new television program for the Sundance Channel.

NASDAQ HASN’T SCHEDULED ANY LSE MEETING

Bob Greifeld, Nasdaq CEO, believes Nasdaq’s offer for the London exchange, is fair, reports CNBC, but the companies haven’t held meetings since last May.

CREDIT CARD ISSUERS FACE SENATE CRITICS

U.S. credit card issuers are facing two high-profile hearings in the next few months led by two of the industry’s most outspoken critics on Capital Hill, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and Sen. Carl Levin.

PHH EXPECTS LOSS FOR 2006

Originator of mortgages on behalf of other financial institutions says it expects to report a loss for 2006, blaming a $20 million loss at its unit due to tightening between mortgage rates and swap rates. PHH expects to return to profitability in 2007.

AFFILIATED MANAGERS GROUP 4Q NET UP 26%

Benefiting from a stable of asset managers focused on international markets and alternative funds, Affiliated Managers Group posts a 4Q profit of $49 million, or $1.21 a share. Net cash flow increases by $6.6 billion.

BANK OF AMERICA BOARD OKS 200M SHARE BUY

Bank’s board approves the buyback of up to 200 million additional shares of common stock, authorizing management to spend up to $14 billion during the next 12 to 18 months. Bank bought back 291.1 million shares last year.

MERRILL EXEC GETS $23M IN 2006 PAY

Merrill Lynch approves $23 million compensation package for Executive VP Robert J. McCann, who serves as president of its private client division. Package includes $8.85 million cash bonus, $13.8 million stock incentive bonus and $350,000 salary.

EX-HEDGE FUND TRADER, MANAGER SETTLE WITH SEC

Former trader of HMC International hedge fund Bret Grebow and former manager Robert Massimi agree to pay more than $4.5 million to settle charges that they took more than $5.2 million of investor money for personal use.

NATIONAL INTERSTATE UP ON STRONG PRELIMINARY 4Q

Company’s shares jump 21%, the day after the insurance company put 4Q EPS results at 54c to 60c, up from 41c a year earlier. Analysts were expecting, on average, per-share earnings of 45c.

SEC APPROVES NASD ARBITRATION RULE CHANGES

Federal regulators announce approval of changes aimed at simplifying NASD’s code of arbitration to eliminate confusion, into three different codes: customer, industry and mediation. Move is aimed at better transparency to benefit investors.

FIDELITY CLIENT ASSETS UP 21%

Fidelity Investments’ broker unit says total daily average commissionable trades rise 14% in 4Q while new client assets climb 24% to $44.5 billion. Total client assets at year’s end reach $1.7 trillion.

PIPER JAFFRAY 4Q NET CLIMBS 26%

Piper Jaffray earns $20.6 million, or $1.15 a share. Earnings from continuing operations is $1.49 a share, including a 73c benefit from a lower litigation reserve. Revenue rises 24% to $146.6 million. Analysts expected 70c EPS on revenue of $127.4 million.

ICE DELAYS START OF NYBOT SOFTS BY ONE WEEK

IntercontinentalExchange delays start of electronic trading of soft-commodity futures on the ICE platform to Feb. 2 to provide Nybot participants and quote vendors time to meet connectivity, staffing and training needs.

HUDSON CITY BANCORP 4Q NET FALLS 7.5%

Bank posts net income of $69.2 million, or 13c a share, as net interest income drops 2.4%. Per-share earnings miss estimates by a penny. Total assets at Dec. 31 rise to $35.5 billion from $28.1 billion a year ago.

TD BANKNORTH 4Q NET JUMPS 50%

Financial services company posts net income of $83.4 million, or 36c a share, as revenue rises 40% to $424 million. Adjusted earnings rise 9% to $117.8 million, or 51c a share. Net interest income climbs 21% to $295.1 million.

WELLPOINT 4Q NET INCREASES 23%

Managed-care company posts net income of $801.1 million, or $1.28 a share, as revenue rises 29% to $14.56 billion. Analysts expected EPS of $1.27 on revenue of $14.51 billion. Firm backs 2007 views. Shares edge higher.

NASDAQ MAKES CHANGES TO ITS FEE-INCREASE PLAN

Exchange decides not to bundle a package of corporate-communications services in its company listing offering. Nasdaq had sought to include certain communications services to help justify higher fees it wants to impose on listed firms.

BANK OF AMERICA ADOPTS AMENDED SPECIAL-MEETING BYLAWS

Bank amends bylaws so that a special meeting of shareholders can be called on the written request of the record holders of at least 25% of the company’s outstanding common stock.

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