Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were narrowly mixed, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index falling almost 0.2% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were rising nearly 0.2%. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was down just under 0.1%.
In economic news:
Optimism among small-business owners moved higher again during January, with the National Federation of Independent Businesses optimism index rising 2.0 points to a 106.9 reading and stopping just 0.6 of a percentage point shy of the 107.5 13-year high set in November 2017. Six of the 10 component categories of the index showed gains last month, led by 34% of the respondents saying this is a good time to expand. The earnings trend jumped 11 points last month but remained on negative ground in January while expectations for an improving economy added 4 points for a 41 January score. Current job openings rose 3 points to 34, the survey found, with more than one-third of the business owners saying they were having difficulty filling certain jobs. Plans to increase inventory and capital outlays also gained last month.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
- TransUnion ( TRU ) declined Tuesday, dropping almost 8% to a session low of $53.55 a share, despite the consumer credit-reporting agency presenting above-consensus Q4 financial results in addition to topping analyst estimates with its FY18 outlook. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.50 per share during the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $0.44 per share during the year-ago period and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.02 per share. Revenue grew 16% to $506 million from $435.9 million during the same quarter last year, also exceeding the $487.8 million analyst mean. Looking forward to FY18, TransUnion is projecting adjusted per-share earnings in a range of $2.26 to $2.31 on between $2.12 billion to $2.14 billion in revenue. That compares with the Street view looking for non-GAAP net income of $2.19 per share on $2.09 billion in revenue.
In other sector news:
+ AllianceBernstein ( AB ) climbed to within $1 of its 52-week high of $28.00 a share on Tuesday after the investment research and management shop reported Q4 net income and revenue exceeding Street views, benefitting from fund inflows and wider operating margins during the three months ended Dec. 31. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.84 per share, beating the Street view by $0.20 per share. Revenue grew to $919.1 million from $786.3 million, also topping the $839.5 million consensus call.
+ NexPoint Residential Trust ( NXRT ) has turned higher again, reversing a nearly 1% decline that followed the real estate investment trust reporting Q4 core funds from operations of $0.39 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.01 per share. Revenue climbed to $34.9 million from $32.6 million last year, lagging the $36.3-million analyst mean.