Opteum's ( OPX) financial services unit, a mortgage lender, has acquired the assets of privately held Aclarian Mortgage. Aclarian is a retail mortgage lender based in Sarasota, Fla. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Opteum will now have a total of five branches in Florida, including two in Sarasota. Nationwide, Opteum operates 37 branches. Shares of Opteum, a real estate investment trust, were down 4 cents at $8.73. Lakeland Bancorp ( LBAI) ticked higher after the company reported its latest quarterly results, declared a stock dividend and set a buyback. The company had second-quarter earnings of $5.1 million and 23 cents a share, essentially equivalent with the results for the same period in 2005. The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of 10 cents a share, and along with that, a 5% stock dividend that will be paid Aug. 16 to shareholders of record July 31. Lakeland Bancorp announced a stock buyback program covering up to 500,000 shares during the next 12 months. Shares of Lakeland rose 14 cents, or 1%, to $14.51. Cowen & Co. ( COWN) was trading lower after pricing its initial public offering below the expected range. The Societe Generale unit priced 11.2 million shares at $16 each, but it had hoped for $19 to $21 a share. Lately, shares of Cowen were down 10 cents, or 0.6%, at $15.90. Shares of insurance provider Progressive ( PGR) were on the decline following the company's earnings report for the June quarter. The company had earnings of $400.4 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $394.3 million, or 49 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of 52 cents. Net premiums written rose 2% to $3.68 billion for the quarter. Progressive was falling 52 cents, or 2.1%, to $24.56.
Cascade Bancorp's ( CACB) stock was higher on the heels of the company's second-quarter financial report. Cascade had earnings of $9 million and 41 cents a share, up from $4.9 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for a profit of 33 cents. Shares of Cascade were rising $1.25, or 4.5%, to $28.77. Financial-services firm Countrywide ( CFC) overcame a decline in mortgage loan fundings for June and rose 2% to $38.35. Mortgage loan fundings last month totaled $42 billion, down 11% from June 2005. Second-quarter funding volume fell 3% from a year ago to $117 billion. Monthly purchase volume was $21 billion, down from $24 billion for the same month last year. Purchase activity for the second quarter totaled $55 billion, a decrease of 9%. Deutsche Securities initiated coverage of Aflac ( AFL) with a buy rating, but the seller of supplemental insurance wasn't catching a bid. Shares of Aflac were unchanged at $45.58. Deutsche also started Genworth Financial ( GNW) with a buy rating, but at the same time, Morgan Stanley cut it to an equal-weight from an overweight. Genworth was losing 50 cents, or 1.4%, to $34.12.