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US financials display mixed performance in May

U.S. financial stocks' rally continues to settle down after hitting its peak in March.

The SNL U.S. Bank & Thrift Index posted a negative 4% return for the month, while the SNL U.S. Specialty Lender Index lost 4.1% and SNL U.S. Investment Companies Index lost 3.14%. The SNL U.S. Insurance Index gained a modest 1.2%. The SNL U.S. Financial Technology Index was the pick of the lot gaining 3.2%, compared to a 1.23% gain for the S&P 500.

For this analysis, S&P Global Market Intelligence only examined U.S. financial institutions traded on a major exchange with a market capitalization above $100 million and an average daily volume greater than 20,000 shares for the last three months.

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World Acceptance Corp. led SNL Financial's financial institution universe with a 47.7% total return in May. On May 9, the company's share price skyrocketed, closing at $88 from the prior day's closing price of $63.50, a change of 39.6%. That morning, the company had announced quarterly earnings of $31.9 million, or a normalized $3.64 per share, according to Capital IQ data. The Capital IQ mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS for the quarter was $2.67.

Athenahealth Inc. had the second-highest total return of 36.7% for the month of May. Elliott Associates LP and related entities acquired a 9.2% economic interest stake in athenahealth Inc. The asset manager said in a May 18 ownership filing that the company is "significantly undervalued" and it plans to meet with management to explore ways of creating more shareholder value. The company's share price jumped by 23.8% that day, closing at $130.07.

Xactly Corp. posted a total return of 35.3% for the month, following the announcement of its planned acquisition by Vista Equity Partners Management LLC on May 30. With the acquirer agreeing to pay $15.65 per share in cash, SNL valued the deal at $564.1 million.

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CPI Card Group Inc. posted the lowest total return of negative 45.8% in May. S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company to B- from B on May 16, saying the downgrade reflects continued soft demand for the company's EMV cards since the beginning of the year. The rating agency expects small-to-midsize payment card issuers' demand for the cards to remain low for the rest of the year.

On Deck Capital Inc. had the second-lowest total return of negative 25.5%. On May 8, it reported a first-quarter net loss that was near consensus expectations, as well as expanded cost-cutting plans and an aim for profitability more than loan growth.

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S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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Click here to view a template on historical total returns.

Click here to view a template that provides pricing trends and profitability ratios for financial institutions.