Hotel Foreclosure Watch: iStar Reclaims its Peach

Star Financial Inc. is gambling there’s more peach than pit at Atlanta’s posh, Robert A.M. Stern-designed Mansion on Peachtree hotel, which the lender seized at foreclosure auction this week. The New York commercial-mortgage real-estate investment trust had provided a $147.5 million mortgage on the 127-room hotel with 45 condominiums, ended up making the only bid at the auction. That bid was for a relatively scant $66.1 million – about 45% of the mortgage’s face amount. [Read the full article]

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Shares of credit rating firm Equifax (EFX) are off 5 cents, a fraction of a percent, at $32.99 after the company this afternoon reported Q4 sales and profit ahead of estimates but forecast profit below estimates for the current quarter. Revenue rose 4%, year over year, to $464 million, the company reported, beating the average $446 million estimate, yielding profit per share of 56 cents, as expected. For this quarter, the company forecast EPS of 53 cents to 57 cents, on a low single digits; percentage rise in revenue. That is better than the 0.4% rise on the top line, but weaker than the average 57-cent estimate on the bottom line. Tiernan Ray has been covering business and finance for over fifteen years. In addition to reporting for Barron’s, his work has been published in SmartMoney, Fortune, Bloomberg News and The New York Times. [Read the full article]

SLM Corp. (NYSE: SLM – News), commonly known as Sallie Mae and the nation leading provider of education credit and related services, today announced that Vice Chairman & CEO Albert L. Lord will speak at the 2010 Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010, in Miami. Lord, who will be joined by Vice Chairman & CFO Jack Remondi, will make his remarks at 2 p.m. EST at the Mandarin Oriental. A live audio Webcast, along with any written materials or slides used during the presentation, will be available at www.salliemae.com. A replay will be available beginning at 3 p.m. EST on Feb. 12 and concluding at midnight EST on Mar. 12.

SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM – News), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation leading saving, planning and paying for education company. [Read the full article]

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Equifax Incs profit dipped 14 percent in 2009 following restructuring charges related to layoffs. The Atlanta-based credit reporting firm posted net income of $233.9 million and earnings of $1.83 a share, compared with net income of $272.8 million and earnings of $2.09 a share in 2008. During 2009, Equifax took a $24.8 million restructuring charge primarily related to severance expense associated with staff reductions. Equifax (NYSE: EFX) had net income of $60.1 million and earnings of 47 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared with net income of $64 million and earnings of 50 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2008. During the fourth quarter of 2009, Equifax recorded a $16.4 million restructuring charge primarily related to severance expense associated with staff reductions.Throughout 2009 we prepared ourselves for the opportunities and challenges of 2010 and enter the year in a much stronger position; said Richard F. [Read the full article]

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