Primerica: Financial Winners & Losers

Primerica surged its trading debut following the insurance unit's spinoff from Citigroup
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(Primerica, Citigroup and other stock prices brought current in this update.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Primerica

(PRI) - Get Report

was the top performer of the financial sector Thursday in its trading debut following the insurance unit's spinoff from

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

.

Primerica

surged after Citigroup priced the initial public offering of 21.36 million shares at $15 per share, above the proposed $12 to $14 range. Citigroup raised $320 million on the offering, which is made more impressive when factoring in the increased offering size, which Citigroup upped from 18 million shares.

Primerica is being spun off from Citigroup, having been acquired in the late 1980's by Sandy Weill.

Citigroup announced the spinoff

of the insurance unit in November as part of the bank's ongoing overhaul to raise cash.

Primerica shares were lately trading 34% higher at $20.10, well above the $15 pricing. Citigroup shares, meanwhile, were up 2.5% to $4.15.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

was another U.S. bank stock on the rise after CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a letter to shareholders that the bank could increase its annual dividend to a range of 75 cents to $1 per share if economic conditions improve and potential regulatory reform is settled.

Dimon also wrote that the bank plans to expand the bank's investment and private banking divisions by adding 500 bankers, investors and other staff to its private bank this year. JPMorgan was lately up 1.1% to $45.20.

Also among the U.S. bank stock winners,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

gained 1% to $18.02,

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

tacked on 0.4% to $31.25, and

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

inched 0.1% higher to $170.79

Overseas,

UBS

(UBS) - Get Report

rose nearly 4% after a report in

The Wall Street Journal

that the bank's U.S. brokerage unit is laying off nearly 200 employees, or 1.2% of its work force, including about 25 managing directors.

The job cuts come as UBS's new wealth-management chief in the U.S., Robert McCann, reorganizes to compete against larger rivals such as Bank of America,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

and Wells Fargo, the

Journal

says, citing people familiar with the matter.

UBS shares trading in New York were lately up 35 cents, or 2.2%, to $16.63.

In other overseas bank news,

Credit Suisse

(CS) - Get Report

is in talks with hedge-fund giant

York Capital Management

to take a minority stake in the investment firm, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal

.

The talks could still collapse midway, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. But the developments suggest that at least some Wall Street players expect Washington rule makers will allow big financial firms to continue owning stake in hedge funds.

Credit Suisse shares were advancing 1.1% to $51.92.

Among analyst moves, Keefe Bruyette & Woods upped 2010 and 2011 earnings estimates for several asset managers, including

Legg Mason

(LM) - Get Report

,

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

,

Janus Capital

(JNS)

and

AllianceBernstein

(AB) - Get Report

, among several others.

The firm also upgraded Legg Mason and Janus Capital to outperform from market perform. Legg Mason added 5.8% to $30.33, and Janus shares increased 2.7% to $14.68.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

.

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