Discover: Financial Winners & Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Discover Financial ( DFS) was among the losers of the financial sector after posting a first-quarter loss and announcing approval to repay borrowed funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Discover said late Tuesday it has received approval to redeem the government's $1.2 billion preferred stock investment related to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Discover

The Treasury's investment was made in January 2009 as part of TARP's Capital Purchase Program. Discover said it would issue $350 million worth of subordinated debt in a second quarter offering.

The announcement came as Discover posted a loss of $104 million, or 22 cents a share. Revenue net of interest expense slipped to $1.69 billion for the latest quarter from $1.72 billion last year.

Discover shares were lately down 0.1% to $15.29, having traded as high as $15.78 earlier in the session.

Among other credit-card issuers, Capital One Financial ( COF) slipped 0.2% to $40.33, while American Express ( AXP) rose 0.7% to $41.22.

Hartford Financial ( HIG), on the other hand, traded higher after the insurer said it will sell $3.05 billion in securities as part of its plan to repay the $3.4 billion in TARP funds.

Hartford said it will offer $1.45 billion in common stock, $500 million in convertible preferred stock, and $1.1 billion in bonds.

Shares of Hartford were lately up 4.9% to $28.60. Among other insurer stocks, American International Group ( AIG) was up 2.1% to $34.32, and MetLife ( MET) gained 1.9% to $43.51.

In other insurer news, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded Lincoln National ( LNC) to buy from neutral, sending shares 6.6% higher to $30.35.

Meanwhile, Citigroup ( C) traded higher following news the bank's proceeds from the IPO of its Primerica insurance and financial services unit could come in at nearly triple its original estimate.

According to an updated Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Citigroup plans to issue as many as 20.7 million Primerica shares (including the over-allotment option) in an offering that could raise up to $289.8 million

In November, when Primerica first registered for the initial public offering, Citigroup was looking to pull in $100 million from the sale.

Citigroup shares were lately up 0.9% to $4.09.

Among other U.S. bank stocks, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) gained 1.6% to $43.92, Bank of America ( BAC) rose 1% to $17.20, Goldman Sachs ( GS) tacked on 0.6% to $177.29, and Morgan Stanley ( MS) added 0.5% to $30.46.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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