Up and Down: Capital One, Freddie Mac and MuniMae
Middleburg Financial (MBRG) was one of last week's biggest gainers, up 21 percent for the week to close at $24.32. Most of the increase came Thursday (there was no price change Tuesday or Wednesday), a day before the Northern Virginia company reported its fourth-quarter earnings. For the year ended Dec. 31, Middleburg Financial posted a 1 percent gain in net interest income, to $27.2 million, and a 62 percent decrease in profit, to $3.1 million.
Another big gainer last week was Capital One Financial (COF) of McLean, whose shares gained 10 percent, to $47.86. Shares are still well off their 52-week high of $82.25, hit in June. On Wednesday, Capital One said card losses were lower in February than in January, a rare bit of good lending-related news. Also, the company on Thursday launched new online savings accounts. But most of the week's gain came on Tuesday, when the Fed said it would pump $200 billion into the market; that day, Capital One shares jumped about 13 percent.
Freddie Mac (FRE) actually made a gainer list last week, with shares up 9 percent for the week. However, shares are still down 64 percent for the year; they closed Friday at $21.18. They, too, had their best day Tuesday, with shares up almost 16 percent.
TNS (TNS) was onto the list of one-year gainers (up 45 percent in the past year) and the list one-week gainers (up 10 percent). Shares of TNS, which provides data communication services to processors of credit and debit card information, closed Friday at $18.14. It, too, had its biggest gain on Tuesday. In addition to the overall boost the market got, the Reston firm seems to be have been helped by its earnings, released after the market closed on Friday. Revenue increased and loss narrowed in both the fourth quarter and the year ended Dec. 31 - and the company's 2008 outlook was better than Wall Street expected.
USEC (USU) had another bad week; shares of the Bethesda company that sells enriched uranium for power plants, fell 20 percent last week, closing at $4.18. Its shares hit a 52-week low of $4.01 on Friday, and shares are down 72 percent for the year. A Motley Fool article from a few weeks ago discusses what's up with USEC better than I could. (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/02/27/usec-can-you-see.aspx)
MuniMae, of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, had a triple play, making all the list of biggest losers of the past week (shares down 13 percent), three months (62 percent) and year (79 percent). They closed Friday at $5.25 after saying Wednesday that it made a deal with Merrill Lynch Capital Services so that it could meet any future margin calls. Michael Falcone, chief executive of the Baltimore company, said the company has already met $39 million of margin calls so far this year.
March 17, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
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