Sector Update: Financial Stocks Narrowly Higher This Afternoon; Cousins Properties Dips After Pricing $224 Mln Offering

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Financial stocks were narrowly higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index climbing about 0.1% and the S&P Financial 100 Index adding about 0.1%.

In company news, Cousins Properties ( CUZ ) was lower in mid-day trade after earlier pricing an underwritten public offering of 18 million shares of its common stock at $12.45 each, a 2.2% discount to Monday's closing price.

Shares were off nearly 2% at $12.48 each, earlier declining to a session low of $12.35 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $9.59 to $12.78 a share, rising 24.2% over the past 12 months.

The offering generated $224.1 million in gross proceeds, which after paying underwriter discounts and other offering expenses, will be used to fund the real estate investment trust's purchase of Fifth Third Center, a Class-A office building in Charlotte, N.C.

The company late Tuesday also reported its Q2 financial results, posting adjusted funds from operations of $0.20 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.03 per share. Revenue nearly doubled over year-ago levels, rising 98.8% to $84.5 million, also topping estimates by $6.06 million.

"We took advantage of our recovering Sunbelt office markets by signing a significant number of new leases during the quarter at improving economics to us," CEO Larry Gellerstedt said it prepared remarks.

He also said the pending purchase of Fifth Third Center was an "exceptional strategic fit" for the company, noting it is buying the property below its replacement cost "and with a real value-creation opportunity through the lease-up of vacant space."

In other sector news,

(+) EXAM, (+9.6%) Q2 GAAP earnings of $0.09 per share are $0.05 better than consensus. Revenue rises 25.8% to $196.45 mln, topping Street by $12.28 mln. Q3 revenue forecast tops estimates by at least $15.5 mln. Raises FY14 guidance by $52 mln, also exceeding expectations.

(-) GNW, (-12.9%) Adjusted EPS of $0.31 falls $0.04 of Capital IQ consensus. Revenue climbs 1.7% from same quarter last year to $2.41 bln, topping estimates by $50 mln. Also, CEO of U.S. life insurance unit quits to join health-tech startup.

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

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