Mortgage company stocks have continued to idle at low levels, as a faded takeover boom and continued concerns about market conditions dampen investor enthusiasm.
In fact, of the eight or so remaining publicly traded mortgage banks, five have seen their stock prices driven by pending takeovers or the hope of a takeover.
Plaza Home Mortgage Corp. ended trading Monday at $7.19, up slightly from Friday's close. The company is awaiting finalization of an acquisition by Fleet National Bank. Last week, Plaza disclosed that it has undertaken certain asset sales, the result of which may drive down the takeover price by some 5 cents per share.
When last restated, Fleet announced its intention to pay Plaza $7.625 per share.
Fleet Mortgage and Arbor National Mortgage are also lolling at prices just below those of announced takeovers. Fleet, which is under a tender offer of $20 per share from parent Fleet Financial, closed Monday at $19.875.
Arbor ended the day at $16.375. A buyout of the Long Island-based company by BankAmerica Corp. should close by the end of the quarter.
North American Mortgage showed itself to be seemingly immune from further takeover speculation. Despite being touted in Barron's by a noted money manager, Michael Price, the company ended Monday at $16, down $0.625 from the close on Friday.
Mr. Price said that the company, which fell from $34 to its current level after it failed to find a buyer, might be a target at around $20 per share.
One company actively seeking a buyer is Hamilton Financial Services Corp., which announced in late 1994 that it had hired Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. That effort is still ongoing, the company announced.
Hamilton also said that it was laying off 120 of its mortgage banking employees. (See related article on next page.)
Fannie Mae, formally the Federal National Mortgage Association, announced earnings last week of $2.132 billion, or $7.77 a share.
Concerns over lower interest margins led investors, in part, to bid down the shares of the secondary market giant by $2.50, to $69.75 per share.
One bright spot in the mortgage industry has been mortgage insurers. Both of the major insurers, CMAC Investment Corp. and MGIC Investment Corp., are trading near 52-week highs.
CMAC, the parent company of Commonwealth Mortgage Assurance Corp., set an intraday trading high of $33.50 on Monday.