The financial sector was relatively quiet Friday and mostly trailed the rest of the flat-lining market, but
, in particular, managed to eke out a 7% climb.
The Nebraska-based student lender said first-quarter non-GAAP income, at 54 cents a share, pulled back a nickel from last year but was also a nickel past projections, per Thomson Financial. Shares were up $1.83 to $27.48.
also did well after the bank's first-quarter per-share earnings added 9 cents from last year to $1.15, or $7.9 million, easily topping analysts' $1.08 estimates. Shares were rising $3.33, or 5.2%, to $67.76.
Hartford Financial Services
, based in Connecticut, comfortably beat Street targets after pocketing first-quarter profits of $2.61 a share. The insurer also lifted 2007 guidance to range between $9.60 and $9.90, which leans to the higher end of consensus. Shares gained $2.09, or 2.1%, to $102.75. Elsewhere, credit card company
jumped 4.5% to $113.41 in fairly heavy trading.
Financial Sector Index -- of which Nelnet, Hartford and MasterCard are components -- was off 0.3% to 9794.19.
Helping along in that regard was
, which, after dropping after the market close Thursday due to a fiscal third-quarter
, was distracted upward by a JPMorgan upgrade this morning before tumbling back down. Lately, shares were losing 1.5% to $37.12.
Security Capital Assurance
, another NYSE index component, was 3.3% lower at $32.22 after Goldman Sachs cut the insurer to neutral from buy, and pawn-shop operator
Cash America International
guided at least a penny below the second-quarter per-share average estimate. Profits are pegged at 38 cents to 42 cents a share. The Texas-based company also edged out first-quarter targets, but shares were down 2.5% to $43.24.
Other falling financial stocks today included
Friedman Billings Ramsey
, a broker that lost 2.7% to $5.77 a day after reporting it had swung to a big first-quarter loss, as well as
( CFC), recently down 2.2% to $38.06;
( MER), off 1.4% to $89.69; and
, sliding 1.4% to $52.22.
The KBW Bank Index, of which JPMorgan is a member, was recently down 46 points, or 0.4%, to 116.58.