4 Financial Stock Stories Requiring Attention

ING Groep (NYSE:ING): Current price $8.96

Perhaps because the Dutch banking and insurance group ING posted a fourth-quarter net profit that missed on Wednesday, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick Flynn told CNBC that it would implement large staff reductions so as to save €1 billion in annual operating costs. More specifically, Flynn remarked that his company needed 7,500 fewer empoyees across banking and insurance. That figure includes 2,400 job cuts reported in Wednesday’s earnings release.

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The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP): Current price $43.98

The firm is being sued by the Justice Department for bond ratings issued by its Standard & Poor’s division, but it still posted a jump in quarterly adjusted profit while saying that it does not think the government can prove its case. Earlier in February, the Department filed a $5 billion civil lawsuit against S&P, claiming that it had inflated ratings on mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis. In a statement, McGraw-Hill said that, “The company does not believe the Department of Justice can prove that this failure — common to nearly everyone at the time — was the product of intentional misconduct by anyone at S&P. S&P has a record of successfully defending these types of cases, with 41 cases dismissed outright or voluntarily withdrawn.”

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Legg Mason (NYSE:LM): Current price $27.43

The global asset management firm’s board announced that it has named Joseph A. Sullivan as President and Chief Executive effective immediately. Further, it said that the veteran leader in the asset management industry and Interim Chief Executive Dennis M. Kass will join the Legg Mason board, effective April 1st.

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Barclays (NYSE:BCS): Current price $20.29

The British bank is ceasing agricultural trading with hedge funds so as to enhance its reputation during its major remake, but will still market index-linked investment products in that sector. On Tuesday, Chief Executive Antony Jenkins told a news conference that the company was getting out of speculative trading in softs and agriculture because of “reputational reasons”, but was remaining with the overall commodities sector. Barclays numbers among several financial institutions to have faced criticism for speculating on grain and other agriculture products, which some say has driven food prices up and ignited unrest in some impoverished countries.

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