Countrywide Jumps on Guidance - TheStreet

Countrywide Jumps on Guidance

The company sees earnings topping $15 a share this year.
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Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

added more than 10% Friday on optimism about the mortgage lender's ability to weather the end of the refinancing boom and speculation the company could be a takeover target.

Shares of the Calabasas, Calif., mortgage lender started moving higher after Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo told a television interviewer that Countrywide expects to earn more than $15 a share in 2003, up from a previous estimate of $13 to $15 a share and above the Thomson First Call consensus of $14 a share.

After closing Thursday at $85.75, the

NYSE

-traded shares touched $90 by 11 a.m. EDT. Countrywide later repeated the guidance in a press release at around 1:30 p.m., sending the shares to $95, up $9.25, or 10.8%, from Thursday.

Other catalysts included a ratings initiation at

Goldman Sachs

at outperform and a resurfacing of unconfirmed market speculation that the company could be a takeover target for the likes of

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

or

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

.

A company spokeswoman didn't return a call.