Sector Update: Financial


Financial stocks were starting the new quarter on the upside with the NYSE Financial Sector Index adding 0.3% and the S&P Financial 100 Index climbing about 0.5%.

In company news, acquisition-minded Arthur J. Gallagher ( AJG ) advanced Tuesday after today announcing a deal to purchase a UK insurance brokerage for around $330 million (GBP 199 million) in cash.

According to AJG, the Oval Group of Companies operates 24 offices throughout Great Britain, generating over GBP 80 mln in revenue yearly. The company expects to spend $2.5 million to $3.2 million per quarter on integration costs with the Oval Group initially seen producing over $36.5 million in annualized EBITDAC excluding integration costs, growing to $45 million by 2016.

AJG expects to finance the transaction using free cash and borrowings on its line of credit.

In other sector news,

(+) SWS, Agrees to $261 million buyout offer from Hilltop Holdings ( HTH ), with the deal valuing SWS shares at $7.88 each in cash and stock. HTH already owns a 24% stake as a result of a $50 mln investment in SWS three years ago. HTH also rising.

(-) NDAQ, Jefferies issues a Hold rating and a $40 price target in new coverage, noting the company is unlikely to soon increase its shareholder payouts above its current $0.13 per share quarter dividend.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AJG , HTH

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