March 15, 2013 08:00 ET

Brokerage Space Sees Flurry of M&A Activities

The Provides Stock Research on Cowen Group Inc. and BGC Partners Inc.

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 15, 2013) - Financial sector is on its way to recovery and the stocks within this space are following suit. With the market at a record high, brokerage companies are seeing a surge in their business. The impact is clearly visible through companies' financials. BGC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) reported higher profits for the fourth quarter, whereas Cowen Group Inc. (NASDAQ: COWN) drastically reduced its losses. The sector is also witnessing healthy M&A activities, leading to consolidation of businesses. In the near future, brokerage companies are also likely to see an increase in their fund inflows as investors come back to equity investment.

Access our free reports on Cowen Group Inc. and BGC Partners Inc. Traders can also connect to our Wall Street Trading Floor where our research desk and market pros are standing between 8:50 am to 4:15 pm ET at

Cowen Group's stock showed good growth this year as it gained more than 21 percent. The rise is partly attributed to strong quarterly and full year results announced by the company. The company reported its fourth quarter revenue at $77.2 million. Its revenue for the corresponding quarter of the last year stood at $70.9 million. Cowen Group posted higher revenue across the board with its Investment banking and brokerage unit revenue going up by 90 percent and 3 percent respectively. The company also controlled its expenses to boost its bottom-line. Its total expenses met reduction targets for 2012 and declined by $29.7 million. Its fourth quarter GAAP net loss stood at $9.3 million, down from net loss of $79.9 million for the previous year's quarter.

Cowen Group is also looking to restructure its business as it revamped its top management cadres. The company appointed Michael Singer as new CEO of Ramius. The new captain is expected to focus on alternative asset management operations. Cowen Group also enhanced its business through acquisitions. Earlier this year, it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dahlman Rose & Co. The new deal will help Cowen Group to consolidate its investment banking operations in agriculture and mining sectors.

BGC Partners Inc. recently fortified its currency transaction business with the acquisition of certain assets of Sterling International Brokers Limited. The company inked the deal through its BGC Brokers LP unit. Mark Webster, Executive Managing Director and General Manager at BGC, said, "The firm's focus on Sterling and other major currency transactions complements the products we offer clients and we look forward to adding this excellent business into our firm imminently." The company has also made a series of real estate acquisitions recently.

BGC Partners' stock also responded positively to its fourth quarter results. The company's revenue jumped 19 percent to touch the $436.3 million figure. Its GAAP income also increased 262 percent as the company's financial services unit showed good recovery. BGC Partners announced its quarterly GAAP income at $27.4 million. The company stock is up 32 percent on a YTD basis. Additionally, investor return is further boosted by the company's robust dividend yield. At the current price level, the stock provides 10.71 percent dividend yield. The stock has further upside left to it as BGC Partners stands to reap benefits of its latest acquisitions.


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