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Thursday's Winners & Losers: Bear Stearns Shares Bear Up Well

Bear Stearns (BSC) was among the volume leaders after the New York broker said that $1.9 billion in mortgage-related writedowns disintegrated its bottom line to a loss of $878 million, or $6.90 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter. Just last month, CFO Sam Molinaro had pegged the writedowns at just $1.2 billion, though he has also proved prescient in adding, "[I] don't want to predict that things couldn't get worse, because things keep surprising."

The report came a day after Britain's Barclays (BCS) sued Bear over one of its troubled subprime-focused hedge funds, according to several published reports. Bear shares, following some mixed trading, closed up 0.9% at $91.42.

Bond insurer MBIA (MBI) fared much worse, with shares tanking more than 26% on a crushing disclosure. The Armonk, N.Y., firm said it has $8.14 billion in exposure to collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) backed by high-grade collateral, 85% of which consists of other CDOs -- in other words, CDOs backed by other CDOs, or CDO squareds. A Morgan Stanley analyst said he was "shocked" at the lateness of this revelation.

Altus Pharmaceuticals (ALTU) tumbled $4.38, or 44%, to $5.50 Thursday. After the close on Wednesday, the company said that it's regaining the North American commercialization rights to ALTU-238, a once-weekly IV human growth hormone product that uses its drug delivery technology, from Genentech (DNA). Altus said it still plans to resume clinical study of the drug, which is in midstage development, in mid-2008.

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