Sector Update: Financial

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Financial stocks were mostly higher in late trading today with the NYSE Financial Sector Index advancing about 0.5% and the S&P Financial 100 Index climbing about 0.8%.

In company news, shares of Benefitfocus ( BNFT ) rose Friday after the maker of software allowing user to better compare insurance benefits beat analyst forecasts with its Q2 financial results and projected Q3 and FY14 earnings above the Street view.

The company recorded a $0.62 per share, topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.08 per share. Revenue rose 32.9% year over year to $32.3 million, exceeding estimates by about $1 million.

It also is forecasting a net loss in a range of $0.70 to $0.72 per share during the current quarter ending in September, topping estimates by at least $0.03 per share, while its guidance for revenue in a range of $33.5 million to $34 million was in-line with the $33.54 million consensus view.

Looking forward to FY14, the company is now anticipating a net loss of $2.35 to $2.42 per share, beating analyst expectations by at least $0.05 per share. Revenue is seen in a range of $133.6 million to $135.6 million, edging out the consensus view by at least $40,000.

BNFT shares were up more than 5% at $40.67 each this afternoon, earlier advancing to an intra-day high of $41.42 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) HGSH, Reports Q3 net income of $8.2 mln, or $0. per share, up from a $2.3 mln profit during the same quarter last year. Revenue jumps 302% over year-ago levels to $28.9 mln. No analyst estimates available for comparison.

(-) RATE, Q2 revenue climbs 24.1% year over year to $130.9 mln but trails consensus by $2.23 mln. EPS of $0.15 matches Street view. Guides Q3 results in-line and lifts FY14 revenue outlook to $545 mln to $555 mln, in-line with $547.78 mln consensus.



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: BNFT

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