Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks are slightly lower this afternoon, with the
NYSE Financial Sector Index slipping less than 0.1% and the S&P
Financial 100 Index falling 0.3%.
In company news, SWS Group (
) shares climbed to a two-year high on Friday after the
Dallas-based financial services company confirmed receiving an
unsolicited, $175 million buyout offer from Hilltop Holdings (
HTH currently owns nearly 10.2 million SWS shares, or about
24.4% of the company, and is offering $7 in an equal mix of cash
and stock for each of 25.1 million shares it does not already own.
SWS said it is now reviewing the proposal "to determine the course
of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company
and its stockholders."
Any deal would require SWS board members and shareholders
agreeing to the offer as well as regulatory approvals.
HTH also said it may begin talks with Oak Hill Capital
Management Partners to either buy out or restructure a $100 million
term loan taken out by SWS and maturing in July 2016. As part of
the loan agreement, Oak Hill received warrants to purchase up to
8.4 million SWS shares as part of the loan agreement.
SWS shares were up nearly 21% at $7.32 apiece, climbing as high
as $7.40 - matching some of the stock's best levels since January
2012. HTS was ahead 8.6% at $25.46 a share in recent afternoon
trade, holding within 15 cents of its new 52-week high set earlier
in the Friday session.
In other sector news,
(+) SSS, (+1.8%) Acquires seven self-storage facilities totaling
more than 575,000 square feet of rental space for $98.7 mln in five
separate transactions. It also purchased five properties during Q4
for $44.7 mln and two more last week for $54 mln.
(-) BLK, (-0.5%) Goldman Sachs reduces its investment rating for
the investment manager to Neutral, citing valuation after shares
underperformed in 2013.