Updated from 2:51 p.m. EDTAs the financial sector bobbed in and out of positive territory Wednesday, a multitude of names rode high on yet another round of earnings as well as other good news. PVF Capital ( PVFC) was a big winner, soaring 20.2% to $15.30 after fellow Ohioan bank United Community Financial ( UCFC) agreed to buy it for around $130.8 million in cash and stock, or $16.21 a share. The deal should close at or near the end of 2007. United, which expects earnings accretion next year, sank 4.4% to $7.19. In earnings news, Seattle's SeaBright Insurance ( SEAB) was well into the green after posting second-quarter earnings of $10.2 million, or 49 cents a share, vs. 45 cents a share last year, on a year-over-year revenue surge to $60.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were seeking 43 cents a share on $60.1 million in revenue. Shares leapt 16.7% to $19.74. Aflac ( AFL), another insurance company, beat earnings estimates by a penny with second-quarter operating income of 82 cents a share. Shares lifted 8.3% to $56.19. Fellow insurer ACE Limited ( ACE) jumped 4.8% on better-than-expected earnings as XL Capital ( XL) saw about 43% higher per-share earnings to $3 in the second quarter, pushing shares 3.9% higher to $82.07. Elsewhere, Florida's BankAtlantic Bancorp ( BBX) racked up 7.5% gains to $8.07 after continuing-operations income leapt 17.6% to 20 cents a share. And MBIA ( MBI) rose 5.1% after an independent consultant -- who was brought in as part of a January settlement with regulators regarding questionable 1998 transactions -- found the relevant accounting and disclosures to be "consistent with GAAP and the federal securities laws." Shares of the Armonk, N.Y., insurer rose $2.91 to $59.99.
On the flip side, Susquehanna Bancshares ( SUSQ) lost 5.9% after second-quarter earnings plunged by half from last year to 19 cents a share, or $9.8 million. Shares of the Pennsylvania bank closed at $19.14. Meanwhile, First Financial Bancorp ( FFBC) slid 4% to $12.77 after its earnings for that quarter didn't rise by quite enough. The Hamilton, Ohio-based bank made a dime more per share than it did last year -- 21 cents -- but analysts had sought a penny more. As for broad sector trackers, the NYSE Financial Sector Index rose 0.5% to 9373.47, and the KBW Bank Index was up 0.8% to 108.79.