Moody’s Investors Service downgrades to A2, from Aaa, the insurance financial strength ratings of MBIA Insurance Corp. and its affiliated insurance operating cos. In the same rating action, Moody’s also downgraded the surplus note rating of MBIA Insurance Corp. to Baa1, from Aa2, and the senior debt rating of the holding company, MBIA INC. to Baa2, from Aa3. Also cuts ratings on AMBAC (ABK).
Merrill cuts estimates on large cap regional ranks, including WB, Bank of America (BAC), BB&T (BBT), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), KeyCorp (KEY), M&T Bank (MTB), National City (NCC), PNC Financial (PNC), Regions Financial (RF), SunTrust Banks (STI), U.S. Bancorp (USB), and Wells Fargo (WFC).
YAHOO executives are discussing a plan to centralize numerous product groups. The proposed restructuring is spurring departures: WSJ.
DEL MONTE FOODS CO.
DLM confirms it in talks with Dongwon Enterprise, its affiliates regarding possible sale of DLM’s seafood business to Dongwon. Such discussions are in connection with DLM’s previously announced exploration of strategic alternatives for its seafood business.
WESTERN UNION COMPANY (THE)
Raises its LT EPS growth objective to 15%-18%, up from 12%- 14%, reaffirmed its LT rev. growth objective of 10%-12%, excl. acquisitions. Sees '08 GAAP EPS of $1.18-$1.22, non-GAAP EPS of $1.25-$1.29. Board authorizes additional $1B share repurchase.
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC.
Announces pricing of a public offering of 11M shares of its Cl. B Common Stock at a price of $14.80 per share. CAL has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase an additional 1.65M shares to cover over-allotments, if any.
BANK OF THE OZARKS, INC.
Says co. has stated that one of its goals for '08 is to achieve record net interest income in each quarter, as it did in Q1, and continues to believe this is a reasonable goal. Expects to accomplish this goal by growing loans and leases from the low teens to the high teens in percentage terms in '08 and maintaining or improving net interest margin from the level achieved in Q4 '07.
FLEETWOOD ENTERPRISES, INC.
Announces that it intends to commence an underwritten public offering of 12M. Expects to grant the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.8M additional shares.
CINCINNATI FINANCIAL CORP.
Says book value at June 30 could be at least 10% below the $33.40 per share CINF reported at 3/31/08. Notes Fifth Third Bancorp, its largest common stock holding, has declined in value by about 55% since March 31, contributing about $3.00 of the expected reduction in book value. Still expects '08 net written premiums to be as much as 5% below the $3.117B reported for full-year '07.