Sterling Financial (NASDAQ:STSA), parent company of Sterling Savings Bank as well as Golf Savings Bank, announced it is deferring its regularly scheduled interest payments on its junior subordinated notes, and deferring its dividend payment on its preferred stock. Sterling said the actions would strengthen its balance sheet by preserving 5.7 million in cash each quarter. Under the terms of the subordinated notes, Sterling could defer payments for up to 20 consecutive quarters without default. Sterling shares plunged 23 percent in early trading Thursday.
Shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) fell about six percent, after the company reported second quarter earnings of 23 cents per share. That's down from 34 cents in the same quarter last year. Sales fell 3.7 percent, while same store sales plunged just over 14 percent, driven in part by lower new console unit sales compared to last year. CEO Daniel DeMatteo said the effects of the recession caused the video game industry to experience a sharp decline in consumer spending during the quarter. Looking ahead, DeMatteo sees a promising new title release schedule over the second half of the year, but lowered earnings guidance for the year.
Specialty retailer The Cato Corporation (NYSE:CTR) reported second quarter earnings of 56 cents per share, up from 41 cents in the same quarter last year. Sales were down 2 percent year over year, while comparable store sales fell 3 percent. Cato reiterated its guidance for the rest of 2009. Cato shares were off over six percent Thursday morning.
Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) priced an offering of 6 million units common stock with warrants, at 2 dollars and 20 cents per unit. Each unit comes with one share plus a warrant to buy another .4 shares, at an exercise price of 2 dollars and 90 cents per share. Cowen and Company, a subsidiary of Cowen Group (NASDAQ:COWN) was the exclusive placement agent for the offering. Cerus shares down about 22 and a half percent, to a few cents above the offering price, at 2 dollars and 23 cents per share.
And Tower Bancorp (TOBC) also looking to tap the capital markets, announcing a 50 million dollar common stock offering. In addition to the offering by the Company, Tower said some of its officers and directors intend to sell about 159 thousand of their own personal shares. Tower said it would use a portion of the offering proceeds to pay down debt.
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