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National Bank of Greece, Popular: Midday Volume Plays

Stocks in this article: BPOPNBG

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Several stocks trading near $5 were moving on above-average volume during Tuesday's session.

Popular (BPOP) jumped by 21 cents, or 9.5%, to $2.47 after a report on bank consolidation in Puerto Rico. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has hired an investment bank to try to find capital or outright purchasers for W Holding (WHI), R&G Financial (RGFC) and Eurobancshares (EUBK), three banks located in Puerto Rico with almost $21 billion in combined assets, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Volume topped 18.13 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 7.37 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Town Sports International (CLUB) advanced by 55 cents, or 16.5%, to $3.89 after the fitness club operator said it broke even on a per-share basis in the fourth quarter, excluding one-time items, which surprised analysts who had expected a loss of 10 cents a share in the quarter. Looking ahead, Town Sports said it is forecasting first-quarter revenue of $117 million to $118 million, which would be down from $126.7 million in the year-ago quarter but better than the $116.9 million consensus target. Volume topped 466,000 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 103,000.

Optibase (OBAS) gained 18 cents, or 14.3%, to $1.44 after the Internet video technology company said it will sell its entire video business to VITEC Multimedia for $8 million in cash, $1 million of which will be deposited in escrow for a two-year period. In addition, Optibase and Vitec agreed on an earn-out mechanism, where 45% of Vitec's revenues deriving from the video business exceeding $14 million in the year following the closing of the transaction will be paid to Optibase. Volume topped 40,600 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 6,900.

National Bank of Greece (NBG) rose by 10 cents, or 2.3%, to $4.42 after S&P Ratings affirmed its 'BBB+' long-term and 'A-2' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Greece. S&P also removed the ratings from CreditWatch, although the outlook was cut to negative from stable. Volume topped 5.06 million shares, compared to the three-month average daily volume of 3.23 million, according to Yahoo! Finance.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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