American International Group
said adjusted fourth-quarter earnings came to $1.47 a share -- more than 10 times higher than last year's profits, albeit 2 cents under Thomson Financial's estimates. The insurance giant also said it will buy back up to $8 billion worth of its shares, $5 billion of it planned in 2007. Additionally, from now on AIG plans, "under ordinary circumstances," to raise its dividend by about 20% every year. Shares were rising $2.39, or 3.6%, to $69.80.
rose sharply after announcing that shareholders had approved a $600 million investment in the Bermuda-based insurer by MassMutual Financial and Cerberus Capital Management. The planned transaction was first announced in November. Shares were gaining 34 cents, or 8.6%, to $4.28.
New York Stock Exchange
got a lift after CEO John Thain denied the existence of a regulatory probe into the exchange's trading glitches during Tuesday's massive selloff. Shares were adding $2.05, or 2.5%, to $83.75.
Royal Bank of Canada
trounced fiscal first-quarter estimates with a profit of $1.27 billion, or 97 cents a share, on $4.84 billion in revenue. Wall Street was seeking 84 cents a share on revenue of $4.4 billion. Year-ago profits were 76 cents a share. Royal Bank's stock was rising 61 cents, or 1.3%, to $46.62.
New Century Financial
, one of a number of suffering subprime lenders, slid again on word it will be late with its year-end financials. Shares were losing 82 cents, or 5.2%, to $15.03.
Nasdaq Stock Market
was hit with a JPMorgan Chase downgrade to neutral from overweight. The exchange was down $1.20, or 4.1%, to $28.10.