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Thursday's Financial Winners & Losers

Encore Capital (ECPG) plunged after per-share earnings in the fourth quarter fell to 28 cents from 32 cents a year ago, owing to 27% higher expenses year over year to $48.2 million. Profits topped Thomson Financial's 20-cents-a-share estimates, but shares were still down 75 cents, or 7.3%, to $9.50.

IndyMac Bancorp (NDE) slid after predicting that 2007 will be a "down year" for its bottom line, which in full-year 2006 was $4.82 a share. Analysts are seeking $4.32 a share for the coming year. Shares of the California-based bank were off $1.50, or 4.4%, to $32.83.

Alliance Bernstein (AB) fell after a clerical error related to class-action claims processing (on behalf of clients) deflated fourth-quarter profits by 21 cents a share -- a steeper amount than the 15-cent figure it estimated last month. The asset-management firm believes the charge "will ultimately be recovered from residual settlement proceeds and insurance," but shares were losing $2.61, or 3%, to $83.19.

Eaton Vance (EV) rose after a J.P. Morgan analyst upped the asset-management firm to neutral from underweight, pointing to robust fund sales and shareholder returns. Shares were adding 67 cents, or 1.9%, to $35.35.

Sterling Financial's (STSA) rating was raised to accumulate from market perform by an analyst with Punk Ziegel. The Washington-based bank was trading up 89 cents, or 2.7%, to $33.78.

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