Sector Update: Financial

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Financial stocks are mixed, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index turning sharply lower, sinking about 1.0% and the S&P Financial 100 Index still holding a 0.4% advance.

In company news, BRE Properties ( BRE ) is down 2.3% at $57.96 a share this afternoon, or about 5 cents under the non-binding $58.01 per share buyout offer it received from Essex Properties ( ESS ).

Based on its 77.19 million shares outstanding, the $4.5-billion offer BRE confirmed this morning is about $500 million less than the rumored deal ESS was said to have proposed last week. The takeover speculation ignited a nearly 11% rise for BRE shares during last Wednesday's session and shares continued to inch higher on Thursday and Friday as well.

The deal ESS currently is proposing would pay BRE shareholders $12.33 in cash and provide them with 0.2971 of an ESS share in exchange for each BRE share they now own. The two apartment landlords have since agreed to exclusive talks to work on a possible merger.

BRE also said it has begun a process to review its strategic options and has hired Wells Fargo Securities and the Latham & Watkins LLP law firm to assist with those efforts. ESS shares are ahead 0.1% at $154.20 each.

In other sector news,

(+) LTS, (+3.9%) Exercises options received in a $14.2-mln offering by Lipocine Inc ( LPCN ) to purchase 223,800 shares at $8.25 each, or $1.8 mln overall. LPCN shares fell 7.8% after the deal priced Nov. 27 and remain under the offering price.

(-) FCEA, (-2.0%) Swings to a fiscal Q3 profit on a gain tied to a joint venture but posted a loss with its funds from operations on project costs.



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BRE , ESS , LPCN

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