Zacks Equity Research, Chicago, had downgraded New Century Financial Corp., Irvine, Calif., to "sell," according to highlights of its analyst blog for Feb. 22.In the blog, Zacks said, "While the company is now trading at a significant discount to book value, it appears that the operating environment will continue to get for worse for companies that focus on subprime loans." Zacks added it would issue an update when New Century issues restated earnings for the first three quarters of 2006 in March.

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