UnumProvident (UNM - Get Report) surged after the insurer reported fourth-quarter income of $179.8 million, or 52 cents a share, excluding items, topping Thomson Financial's estimates by 8 cents a share. Last year the Tennessee-based company earned $133.3 million, or 42 cents a share. The stock was rising $2.03, or 10.2%, to $21.96.
First Horizon (FHN - Get Report) shares jumped on the retirement of Chief Executive J. Kenneth Glass, which to some suggests that the Memphis-based regional bank may soon sell itself. The current chief operating officer, Jerry Baker, has been appointed the new CEO, and board member Michael Rose will become the new chairman. Shares were gaining $3.69, or 9.2%, to $43.92.
Ameriprise (AMP - Get Report) and other life insurers were rising after a Goldman Sachs analyst upgraded the entire sector to neutral from cautious. Ameriprise and Prudential (PRU - Get Report) were singled out as those with the strongest 2007 profit-growth potential. Ameriprise shares were climbing 76 cents, or 1.3%, to $58.29. Prudential was up 73 cents to $88.89.