Today's Financial Stock Winners and Losers
Shares of Encore Capital Group (ECPG) plummeted Wednesday after the San Diego-based credit-services company saw its first-quarter income fall.
The company posted income of $4.7 million, or 20 cents a share, down from $7.5 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 20% to $60.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $61.4 million.
Looking ahead, CEO J. Brandon Black said in a statement that "while our earnings per share will continue to be challenged by lower revenue recognition on more recently purchased portfolios, we believe we will continue to generate strong annual growth in adjusted EBITDA in 2006." Shares closed Wednesday down $3.27, or 24.1%, at $10.29.
Legg Mason (LM) slipped after the Baltimore-based asset-management company missed Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The company reported income of $150.1 million, or $1.03 a share, up from $117.6 million, or 98 cents a share, a year ago. The Thomson First Call consensus was for EPS of $1.25."We have made meaningful progress during the last three months in integrating the former CAM businesses -- assets, employees and systems -- into Legg Mason, and have begun the task of rationalizing the former CAM product line into one that reflects Legg Mason's longstanding focus on providing institutional-quality investment products and client service," said CEO Chip Mason. "Our timetable to complete this integration appears to be on target with little if any slippage." Shares closed Wednesday's session down $8.46, or 7.36%, at $108.06. Morgan Stanley (MS) dipped slightly on news the New York-based financial services company was fined $15 million for failing to turn over thousands of internal emails sought in two major investigations. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the big Wall Street firm failed to produce "tens of thousands of emails'' that were repeatedly demanded by regulators over a five-year period, beginning in 2000. Morgan Stanley, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, agreed to settle the matter and pay the fine. Shares closed Wednesday down 54 cents, or nearly 1%, at $65.21.
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