Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Friday, November 21, 2014

  • 2:22 PM
    • EDR's 1:3 reverse split is expected to take place before trading opens on December 1.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 1:08 PM
    • "In conversations with investors, skepticism remains high while interest in the group remains low," says UBS strategist Julian Emanuel, quickly making at least a contrarian case for buying the financial sector (NYSEARCA:XLF). In addition to that, Emanuel sees a number of positive catalysts emerging over the next year.
    • There's higher interest rates, of course, but also underpinning a strong 2015 will be higher volatility and continued robust M&A action, says Emanuel, noting Q3 earnings for U.S. financials gained 9.4% on 5.6% revenue growth.
    • The XLF's gain of 10.8% YTD compares to 13.6% for the S&P 500.
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  • 12:47 PM
    • More than 75% of the votes were cast in favor of the deal in which SWS Group (SWS +0.6%) shareholders will receive $1.94 in cash and 0.2496 shares of Hilltop Holdings (HTH +2%) for each share of SWS they own. Judging by the share price reaction, Hilltop investors think they're getting a bargain.
    • Source: Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:08 PM
    • MidWestOne Financial (MOFG +5.9%) will issue 2.723M shares of stock and pay $64M for Central Bancshares.
    • SEC Form 8-K
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  • 11:01 AM
    • Without the error, the bank's full-year CET1 ratio under the EBA's stress test's adverse scenario would have been only a barely-passing 5.7% (5.5% was the passing level) instead of the initially reported 6.7%.
    • The bank's currently reported (as of Sept. 30) CET1 ratio of 10.8% is not affected.
    • RBS -1.3% on a strongly green day for European markets.
  • 10:24 AM
    • At a time when a focus on expense management is a popular meme for the banking industry, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) CEO Richard Davis says his bank will add thousands of positions next year. Many, however, will not be in areas suggesting a brisk pickup in business, but instead in the compliance and audit departments.
    • The bank will end this year with 67K employees, and Dennis sees as many as 70K by year-end 2015.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:47 AM
    • Inline with Nationstar Mortgage's (NSM +2%) focus on leveraging technology to improve the property sale and purchase experience, Solutionstar has purchased Title365.
    • The move follows this month's hiring of "technology innovator" Kal Raman as CEO of Solutionstar. Raman: "The acquisition of Title365 not only adds new technologies, products and third-party business to Solutionstar's portfolio, but its management team boasts a strong reputation as an industry innovator with decades of title industry experience."
    • The deal is expected to close in January for $36M in cash, with additional consideration based on certain performance targets.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 9:35 AM
  • 9:11 AM
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  • 8:46 AM
    • New York Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ:NYMT) yesterday signed a commitment letter for the purchase of a pool of residential mortgage loans for about $345M. According to the seller, as of September 30, the pool was comprised of modified first lien mortgages with a UPB of roughly $394M and a weighted-average coupon rate of 6.41%.
    • The purchase is subject to continuing due diligence on NYMT's part, but the company expects to close this year, and last night launched a 15M share secondary offering to help fund the deal.
    • Shares are lower by 5% premarket as pricing detail on the secondary is awaited.
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  • 8:23 AM
    • Ross is resigning from a number of boards thanks to his election as Vice Chairman of Bank of Cyrus and European regulations limiting the directorships of bank officers. Ocwen Financial (NYSE:OCN): "Mr. Ross' decision to resign as a director was not due to any disagreements with the company on any matter relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices."
    • SEC Form 8-K
    • Wilbur Ross became a sizable owner of Ocwen and a board member there after the company purchased his Homeward Residential more than two years ago.
    • One wonders if Ross' resignation opens the way for him to take the battered company private on the cheap.
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  • 8:17 AM
    • UBS Group AG is set to begin trading next week in Zurich and New York - replacing UBS AG - after 90% of shareholders tendered their shares for stock in the new holding company.
    • UBS believes the creation of this holding company is likely to reduce the amount of capital it must hold as Swiss regulators believe it will make the wind-down of subsidiaries easier, thus preventing the chance of systemic effects.
    • In a further move, UBS plans to create a banking subsidiary in Switzerland by mid-2015 which will house retail, corporate, and the Swiss-booked wealth management business. The U.K. unit will be reorganized to make it more self-sufficient, and there will be an intermediate holding company for all U.S. units by mid-2016.
    • Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) already has a group holding structure, but is planning changes along the lines of some of UBS's moves.
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  • 7:41 AM
    • With the price of ABC nearing FBR's $90 price target, the team downgrades the stock to Market Perform, saying the valuation reflects the company's long-term growth prospects.
    • AmerisourceBergen is higher by 26% YTD, with much of that gain occurring in the past month.
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  • 7:36 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:20 AM
    • KeyBanc and Morgan Stanley both cash in their chips on their buy recommendations for Macerich (NYSE:MAC) after this week's 12% jump in the stock thanks to Simon Property's interest in the company.
    • MAC is now ahead 30% YTD.
    | Comment!
  • 5:00 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:12 AM
    • Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) have revised their representation and warranty framework in response to lender concerns about the risk on buying back loans sold to the two agencies.
    • Fannie says it can now only seek a mortgage repurchase if it determines the failure to comply would undermine its rights on the loan, result in a liability for the company or if the lender violated a consumer protection law or regulation. Freddie has made similar changes.
  • Thursday, November 20, 2014

  • 4:24 PM
    • The offering size is 15M shares and the underwriters have a 2.25M share greenshoe. The proceeds are expected to help fund the purchase of a pool of residential mortgage loans. Should that purchase not go through, NYMT will look for other targeted assets to buy.
    • As of September 30, NYMT's book value was $6.98 and the stock closed at $8.18 today, a relatively whopping 1.17x book.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Shares -5% after-hours
  • 4:20 PM
    • The Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Westwood is a 264-room, upper upscale boutique hotel, and will continue to be managed by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
    • For the trailing 12 months, the hotel operated at 87% occupancy with an ADR of $207 and RevPAR of $180. 2015 forecast EBITDA is $5.2M-$5.7M, and NOI after capital reserves of $4.2M-$4.7M (5.7% cap rate at the midpoint).
    • The purchase brings Pebblebrook's (NYSE:PEB) portfolio size up to 33 properties, and its L.A. investments up to five.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 4:12 PM
    • The underwriter greenshoe is for another 885K shares. TCPC -0.5% after-hours.
    • Source: Press Release
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