Capital Title Group ( CTGI) surged nearly 28% after the Arizona-based title insurance company agreed to be acquired by LandAmerica Financial ( LFG) for about $251 million in cash and stock.

The deal will consist of 80% in cash and 20% in stock, representing a purchase price of $8 a share. The acquisition is expected to add to LandAmerica's earnings by roughly 4% to 6% during 2007. Shares of Capital Title were trading up $1.68 to $7.70, while LandAmerica shares gained 86 cents, or 1.3%, to $67.94.

Chubb Corp. ( CB) gained after the Warren, N.J., insurance company was upgraded to equal-weight from underweight by Morgan Stanley.

"The stock has been a solid absolute," the analyst report said, "and a relative in-line performer to our coverage space over the past year." In addition, the report said analysts believed "the downside catalysts and/or headwinds we had identified have played out, albeit with less impact than we had anticipated." Shares advanced $1.53, or 1.6%, to $95.12.

Consumer Portfolio Services ( CPSS) advanced after the Irvine, Calif., consumer finance company said it closed a securitization transaction, issuing $245 million of notes backed by automobile receivables. Shares gained 20 cents, or 2.5%, to $8.10.

Horizon Financial ( HRZB) was higher after the Bellingham, Wash., company said its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 14.5 cents a share and authorized a new stock repurchase program. The dividend will be paid on May 2 to shareholders of record on April 6.

The stock buyback runs for one year and covers the repurchase of up to 500,000 shares, or about 5% of Horizon's stock outstanding. The repurchase plan replaces the program approved a year ago, under which the company retired 212,852 shares. The company's shares added 82 cents, or 3.3%, to $25.57.

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