UBS: Financial Winners & Losers

UBS rose Monday after the Swiss bank said it expects a pretax profit in the first quarter.
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(UBS and other stock prices brought current in this update.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

UBS

(UBS) - Get Report

was among the winners of the financial sector Monday after the Swiss bank said it expects a first-quarter pretax profit.

UBS

said it expects a pretax profit of at least 2.5 billion Swiss francs ($2.36 billion) in the first quarter, which would be the second consecutive quarterly profit for the bank and the highest in two years.

UBS also said that net withdrawals from its wealth management units were slowing. The announcement comes days ahead of the bank's annual shareholder meeting.

Following the announcement, Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove upgraded UBS shares to buy from neutral. Bove also upped his stock price target to $21 from $18 and increased his 2010, 2011 and 2012 earnings estimates for the Swiss bank.

"Overall, UBS's outlook has brightened considerable; a fact not yet represented in its stock price," Bove wrote in a note to clients Monday.

UBS shares were lately up 67 cents, or 4.1%, to $17.19.

UBS' unexpected announcement comes as major U.S. banks prepared to report quarterly results.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

will open the books on its first quarter Wednesday, followed by

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

on Friday.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

,

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

are on tap to report earnings next week.

Those bank stocks were trading up ahead of the earnings releases. Citigroup rose 1.9% to $4.64, Bank of America gained 1.1% to $18.79, Wells Fargo was up 0.7% to $32.53, and JPMorgan advanced 0.5% to $46.21.

Elsewhere,

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

realized a $1.5 billion to $2 billion loss last year after the insurer's Financial Products unit unwound credit-default swaps insuring about $3 billion of mortgage-asset pools with Goldman Sachs, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal

.

AIG still has outstanding credit-default swaps with Goldman on $1.3 billion in Abacus CDOs, some of which are tied to the performance of commercial-real-estate bonds, people familiar with the trades told the

Journal

.

AIG shares were lately rising 8.1% to $41.22.

Ambac Financial

(ABK)

continued to rally, surging 59.1% to $1.75. On Friday, Ambac reported fourth-quarter net income of $558.1 million, or $1.93 a share, which swung from a year-ago loss of $2.34 billion, or $8.14 a share. Results included a $472 million tax benefit.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

.

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