Takeover expectations drove the movement of several mortgage banking stocks last week as investors tried to hitch rides on the next bank acquisition.
Countrywide Credit Industries finished the week with a gain of $1.50, closing at $17.50. A number of rumors, none substantiated, have had the Pasadena mortgage giant being acquired in whole or in part by Citibank or Bank of America.
The flip side of takeover speculation was Express America and Arbor National Mortgage, both of which retreated in trading last week when widely expected announcements failed to materialize.
Express America, a Phoenix-based mortgage bank, fell $1.375, to $9.50. In the preceding week, the stock was up a point on rumors that a deal with a commercial bank was near. Several weeks ago the company announced that it was in talks to be acquired.
Arbor National finished the week with a loss of 37.5 cents, to $18.75. It too was falling after a surge of $2.375 the preceding week, to $19.125, when market talk had the Long Island lender being acquired by an eastern commercial bank for $22 a share.
Margaretten Financial, subject to a $25-per-share tender offer from Chemical Bank, hovered at $24.875.
A group of investors led by Mario Gabelli recently filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they had purchased 1.25 million shares of Margarentten, or 9.39% of the outstanding common.
All shares were purchased after the takeover was announced at prices between $24.50 and $24.79. Chemical's takeover is conditioned on the tendering of 80% of the common stock.
Calls to Mr. Gabelli were not returned.
CMAC Holdings, the parent of mortgage insurer Common-wealth Mortgage Assurance Corp., shot up $2.375 last week, to $28.25. There was no particular news driving the surge, said analyst Michael A. Corasaniti. "It was oversold and bounced back."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also climbed smartly.