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Sector Update: Financial

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 10/9/2013 1:31:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: HRB;RBCAA

Financial stocks are moderately higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising 0.4% and the S&P Financial 100 Index adding nearly 0.6%.

In company news, H&R Block ( HRB ) is 1.5% lower at $26.85 each, paring some of its earlier declines that followed the tax preparation firm's ending its planned sale of banking assets to Republic Bancorp ( RBCAA ), citing delays in winning approval for the deal from the Comptroller of the Currency.

During a conference call, HRB said its decision was all but sealed when RBCAA recently withdrew its application to convert into a national bank. But CEO William Cobb told analysts and investors HRB remains committed to exiting the banking business and will explore other alternatives to sell those assets.

Scrapping the current deal will likely cost HRB between $0.03 to $0.04 per share in one-time charges, Cobb said, adding most of those costs have already taken place. Financial terms of the proposed transaction had not been disclosed.

RBCAA shares are down 7.4% at $25.14 a share this afternoon.

In other sector news,

(+) GAIN, (+3.3%) Increases monthly distribution by 20% to $0.06 per share.

(-) PGR, (-0.6%) Q3 earnings of $0.39 per share beat by $0.03. Net premiums written rise 5.0% year over year to $4.45 bln, trailing estimates by around $30 mln.