Friday, September 4, 2009

Fannie, Freddie Avoid Delisting as Stocks Triple (FRE; FNM)

From Bloomberg:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies seized by U.S. regulators a year ago, avoided delisting on the New York Stock Exchange after their shares more than tripled last month.

The NYSE notified Freddie Mac yesterday that a review as of Aug. 31 showed its average share price for the preceding 30 trading days was above $1, meeting minimum listing requirements, according to a statement today from the McLean, Virginia-based company. Washington-based Fannie Mae said separately that it was also notified by the NYSE yesterday of its compliance.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares last week rose above $2 to their highest levels since the government forced the companies into conservatorship in September 2008 because of rising mortgage delinquencies. Fannie Mae was up 232 percent in August, while Freddie Mac surged 269 percent for the month.

FBR Capital Market’s Paul Miller said the rally was unjustified, and attributed the jump to short sellers and investor speculation about reverse stock splits.

“There is no fundamental value remaining in Fannie and Freddie, particularly since the government owns 80 percent of each company,” Miller, a banking analyst based in Arlington, Virginia, said in an Aug. 31 note to investors.

Under NYSE rules, if a stock’s 30-day average price falls below $1, the exchange sends a formal warning and gives the company six months to correct the deficiency. Freddie Mac, which peaked at $73.70 in December 2004, had closed at less than $1 on all but one day from Dec. 1, 2008, through Aug. 7, in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Fannie Mae closed below $1 through the same period. The stock peaked at $87.81 in 2000....MORE

Barbra and Judy must be long (Happy Days are Here Again was introduced in the movie Chasing Rainbows):