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Barclays: Financial Winners & Losers

Barclays shares fall 5% on the British bank's first-half financial results.

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Barclays (BCS) - Get Report was among the losers of the financial sector Thursday even after the British bank reported a 29% increase in net profit during the first half of 2010.

Barclays

said its first-half net profit rose to 2.43 billion pounds from 1.89 billion pounds in the first half of 2009, thanks to gains in investment banking and falling provisions for bad loans. However, operating expenses rose 21% to 9.72 billion pounds, due to increased regulatory costs, the impact of currency exchange, and restructuring charges, among other costs.

Shares of Barclays trading in New York were falling by $1.09, or 5%, to $20.62.

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Meanwhile, shares of

Manulife Financial

(MFC) - Get Report

plunged by 11.8% to $13.90 after the Canada-based financial services company swung to a second-quarter loss of C$1.36 a share from a year-ago profit of C$1.09.

Hartford Financial

(HIG) - Get Report

shares traded lower after the company late Wednesday lowered its full-year earnings guidance range to $2.10 to $2.30 a share, below its prior guidance range of $2.70 to $3. Analysts are forecasting full-year earnings of $2.71 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

The weak guidance came as Hartford Financial reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 92 cents a share, which topped the consensus estimate of 71 cents a share. Hartford shares were down 5.2% to $22.59.

On the positive side,

Prudential Financial

(PRU) - Get Report

notched a second-quarter adjusted profit of $1.51 a share on revenue of $8.74 billion, coming in ahead of the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate for earnings of $1.32 a share on revenue of $7.28 billion. Prudential shares were trading up 3% to $58.40.

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Report

also traded higher after the insurer late Wednesday said it had second-quarter earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $7.66 billion, beating the consensus estimate for earnings of 69 cents a share and revenue of $6.61 billion. Allstate shares were climbing by 2.2% to $29.25.

Away from earnings,

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

retraced some the previous day's gains, spurred by reports that the company is considering spinning off its

proprietary trading activities

, or at least a significant portion of it, due to the financial reform legislation.

CNBC

reports Thursday that Goldman could make the move as early as Friday.

In a research note Thursday, Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove wrote that Goldman is likely to make the adjustment to financial reform first and "capture new and profitable opportunities. By focusing its capital on the institutional capital markets business while others put their capital into support of their consumer finance businesses, Goldman should enhance its dominant position in multiple sectors," Bove wrote.

Goldman shares were lately down 0.7% to $155.30.

Among other U.S. bank stocks,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

lost 1.4% to $13.99,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

fell 1.3% to $4.09,

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

was lower by 1% to $27.66,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

slipped 0.5% to $27.73, and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

was off 0.5% to $41.10.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.