Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

  • 2:36 PM
    • Janus' (NYSE:JNS) first proposed fund would look like an ETF version of Bill Gross' Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (MUTF:JUCAX), much in the way that Pimco about three years ago launched BOND as the ETF version of Gross' Total Return Fund.
    • BOND has been particularly successful, with AUM of $2.5B (though perhaps that total has suffered since Gross exited Pimco). Last month, DoubleLine also paired its star and star fund with an ETF, launching (along with State Street) the Jeff Gundlach-managed SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (NYSEARCA:TOTL).
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  • 1:16 PM
    • Not long after Citigroup (C) CEO Michael Corbat sent out invitations last spring for the retirement party for former head of Citibank, Gene McQuade, he was asking McQaude to take the most important job at the bank - making sure it passes this year's stress test and CCAR.
    • McQuade grew up in NYC housing projects, put himself through college driving a taxi, and - well-liked by both regulators and bankers - has earned a reputation as a go-to person for managing a crisis.
    • “He’s absolutely the person you want in a conflict situation where the stakes are high. Smart, ethical, keeps his cool,” says Dick Kearns, who served with McQuade as a trustee at St. Bonaventure during a 2003 recruiting controversy. "If he were an airline pilot, he'd be Sully Sullenberger."
    • Under McQuade, Citi this year has renovated risk models, hired more compliance staff, and attempted to address a Fed complaint that risk  procedures are too centralized at HQ.
    • "We really need to turn this into an A-plus paper," McQuade tells his colleagues.
    • Stress test results are due after the close on Thursday, with the CCAR results six days later.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:17 PM
    • Anu Aiyengar and Henry Gosebruch have been named co-heads of M&A for North America, while Dirk Albersmeier and David Lomer have been tapped as co-heads of M&A in EMEA, reports the WSJ.
    • "In this time of unprecedented M&A activity, we are making changes to our organization structure to better align our regional M&A resources in support of our client agenda,” say JPMorgan (JPM -0.2%) co-heads of global M&A Hernan Cristerna and Chris Ventresca.
    • The bank currently holds first place in Dealogic's league table for U.S.-announced M&A year-to-date, with 26 deals worth a combined $94B.
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  • 11:30 AM
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  • 11:07 AM
    • The current balance of E*Trade's (NASDAQ:ETFC) home-loan portfolio is only $6B now vs. $27B as the financial crisis began to unfold, and regulators are no longer requiring the parent company to set aside capital to support the lending unit.
    • There's still risk as a buyer would have to mark the loans to market, and there's currently a wide gap between carrying value and market value. "As that [gap] goes down, I would think a buyer would be more and more interested," says Compass Point's Michael Tarkan..
    • TD Ameritrade (AMTD -0.5%) and Schwab (SCHW -0.9%) seem like natural potential buyers, but lenders like CIT Group (CIT -0.8%) and Capital One (COF -0.8%) might also have interest, says Sandler O'Neill's Rich Repetto. Goldman Sachs has been rumored to have sniffed around the company as well.
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:32 AM
    • ING Group (ING -0.8%) sells 32M shares of Voya Financial (VOYA +0.5%) in a public secondary offering at $44.20 each, and Voya agrees to purchase another 13.6M shares directly from ING for $44.12 each.
    • The direct purchase will leave Voya with $161M remaining under its buyback authorization.
    • Source: Press release
    • The sales complete ING's divestment of Voya Financial. ING first entered the U.S. life insurance market forty years ago with the purchase of Wisconsin National Life.
    • Previously: ING unloading the rest of its Voya stock (March 3)
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  • 10:12 AM
    • Complimenting its fast-growing-in-popularity hedged European large-cap, exporter-focused ETF HEDJ, WisdomTree (NASDAQ:WETF) launches the Europe Hedged SmallCap Equity ETF (EUSC), whose holdings theoretically will be more levered to local European economic growth.
    • Source: Press release
    • Good timing: Down 0.8% to $1.1008, the euro is at more than a decade-low vs. the greenback.
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  • 9:36 AM
    • Essent Group (ESNT +2.3%) continues a nice run after an upgrade to Outperform from KBW. The stock's higher by about one-third since late summer.
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  • 8:56 AM
    • Premier Financial (NASDAQ:PFBI): Q4 EPS of $0.37
    • Revenue of $14.22M (+18.5% Y/Y)
    • Press Release
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  • 8:50 AM
    • Q4 normalized FFO of $11.3M or $0.22 per share. Normalized FAD of $10.5M or $0.20 per share. The dividend is $0.225.
    • Rental revenue of $16.8M up 200% Y/Y.
    • Portfolio lease rate of 94.6% of total square footage as of Dec. 31.
    • Q4 investments of about $104.8M, comprising 24 buildings totaling 575K square feet, and one medical office building term loan. Total gross leasable square footage of 3.1M as of year-end, up 244% Y/Y. Another $1.1B in investments under contract.
    • Guidance: Company expects to acquire between $500M and $700M or real estate this year.
    • Conference call at 10 ET
    • Previously: Physicians Realty Trust beats by $0.01, beats on revenue (March 4)
    • DOC flat premarket
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  • 8:25 AM
    • Q4 adjusted net income of $19.2M or $0.26 per share vs. $17.1M and $0.24 one year ago. Full-year adjusted net income of $1.03 per share vs. $0.81 in 2013.
    • Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $40.1M down 8% Y/Y. Full-year adjusted EBITDA of $165.3M up 22% from 2013.
    • Total WSEs as of year-end of about 288K up 25% Y/Y. Company remains confident in outlook and of 15%+ growth in net service revenue this year (gained 21% in 2014).
    • Net insurance revenues, however, are a different story. In Q4, they fell 19% Y/Y to $36.8M, thanks to higher-than-expected large medical claims. "We are working closely with our health insurance partners to identify these large claims earlier in the process to improve our ability to more accurately forecast our Net Insurance Services Revenues," says CEO Burton Goldfield.
    • Previously: TriNet misses by $0.11 (March 3)
    • TNET -13.5% premarket
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:05 AM
    • Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC): Q4 FFO of $0.22 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $19.7M (+205.4% Y/Y) beats by $1.43M.
    • Press Release
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  • 8:04 AM
    • Capitala Finance (NASDAQ:CPTA): Q4 NII of $0.39 misses by $0.01.
    • Net investment income of $13.46M (+10.9% Y/Y) misses by $0.1M.
    • Press Release
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  • 7:34 AM
    • The company's wholesale broker-dealer subsidiaries raised $326.8M in equity capital in February, up 19% from January's total. It's the fourth straight month of increased sales since things fell off following the American Realty accounting issues.
    • RCAP continues to believe the wholesale distribution business will be an adjusted EBITDA contributor for full-year 2015.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 7:22 AM
    • U.S. companies are raising cash from European bond sales as fast as their bankers can draw up the paperwork, thanks to tumbling yields amid the ECB's QE. Around $27.8B of bonds from U.S. borrowers have been issued in Europe this year, according to Dealogic.
    • The Oracle's nasty, self-serving recent comments about bankers notwithstanding, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) has hired BAML, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Wells Fargo to manage the debt sale.
    • Source: WSJ
    | 5 Comments
  • 7:16 AM
     
    • Craig Delany oversees the Chief Investment Office as part of his duties, and will retire in the coming months to spend more time with his family, reports the WSJ. In his mid-40s, Delany was appointed global CIO following the London Whale losses, and named treasurer last year.
    • His group has about 750 employees, manages a $350B fixed income portfolio, $350B in short-term cash, and $300B in debt issuance, securitization, and other liabilities.
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  • 7:02 AM
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  • 4:56 AM
     
    • Fed Chair Janet Yellen lashed out at the culture in the nation's biggest banks yesterday, echoing similar comments from other regulatory officials to increase pressure on large U.S. financial institutions to improve.
    • "It is unfortunate that I need to underscore this, but we expect the firms we oversee to follow the law and to operate in an ethical manner," said Yellen. "Too often in recent years, bankers at large institutions have not done so, sometimes brazenly."
    • Her remarks come just days before the Fed's annual bank stress tests.
    | 8 Comments
  • 4:16 AM
    • Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF) reported a sharp drop in full-year profit today, and lowered its return on equity target to above 10%, from the midteens percentage it previously aimed for.
    • "2014 performance was disappointing, impacted by a challenging market environment and the significant...restructuring and repositioning actions taken during the year," said CEO Peter Sands, who will be replaced by former JPMorgan executive Bill Winters in June.
    • Net profit for the year sank 37% to $2.51B from $3.99B, a year earlier.
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  • 3:06 AM
    • Many institutional investors take months to decide on and execute a reallocation from one fund to another. It is therefore not surprising that withdrawals from Pimco's (OTCQX:AZSEY) flagship fund have persisted for so long, announced chief investment officer, Dan Ivascyn.
    • The firm reported another $8.6B of outflows in February from the Pimco Total Return Fund (MUTF:PTTRX), bringing withdrawals to $76.6B since Gross moved to Janus Capital.
    • Previously: Outflows slow at Pimco's Total Return Fund (Mar. 03 2015)
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