T. Rowe Price ( TROW) said Chairman and President George A. Roche plans to retire during the fourth quarter of this year. After he retires, the company's board plans to name James A.C. Kennedy, currently director of equities, as president and chief executive of the firm.

The board also expects to name Brian C. Rogers chairman and Edward C. Bernard vice chairman. Shares of T. Rowe Price, a money manager, were rising 84 cents, or 1.1%, to $77.54.

Bear Stearns ( BSC) said earnings rose to $514 million, or $3.54 a share, in the first quarter, from $378.8 million, or $2.64 a share, a year ago. Net revenue rose 19% to $2.2 billion.

Analysts were expecting Bear Stearns to earn $2.95 a share and generate revenue of $2 billion in the quarter. Separately, the company reached a $250 million settlement with regulators over its role in the mutual fund trading scandal. Shares of Bear Stearns were down 86 cents, or 0.6%, at $133.35.

State Street ( STT) said its board authorized a new 15 million-share repurchase plan. The buyback replaces the previous 15 million-share program approved in February 2005. About 13.1 million shares were repurchased under the prior buyback. Shares of State Street added 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $62.36.

Virginia Commerce Bancorp ( VCBI) declared a 3-for-2 stock split, provided its shareholders approve an increase in the company's authorized stock. If the amendment is approved, the added shares will be distributed May 12 to shareholders of record April 28.

Separately, FTN Midwest downgraded Virginia Commerce to neutral from buy. Shares were lower by 3 cents at $35.96.

Sovereign Bancorp's ( SOV) board declared a cash dividend increase of 33% on its common stock. The increase will result in a quarterly cash dividend of 8 cents a share. The dividend is payable on May 15 to shareholders of record May 1.

Additionally, Sovereign announced a 5% stock dividend, which will be distributed on May 22 to shareholders of record May 1. Shares of Sovereign gained 2 cents to $21.93.