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MAULED DATA AT BEAR STEARNS

BEAR STEARNS HAS HAD A pretty good investment record in recent years, but not as good as it wants us to believe. Its recently released proxy statement for the fiscal year ended June 30 gives a wrong figure for investment returns of other financial companies--showing Bear outpacing the Standard & Poor's Financial Miscellaneous Index by 12% over five years. Trouble is, the correct tally has this peers index doing slightly better than Bear.

Bear made the comparison because of a Securities & Exchange Commission rule mandating that all publicly traded companies match their performance over a five-year period with a peer group and a broad market index, such as the S&P 500. And returns must be calculated with dividends reinvested. Bear did that for its own return. But it didn't for the S&P peers index or for the S&P 500, which it actually beat by $78, not the $105 it first claimed.

The error was spotted by independent analyst Michael Flanagan. He found no similar problem with other Wall Street houses. A Bear spokeswoman calls the mistake a clerical error that has been corrected in an SEC filing.

EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT
By Lisa Sanders



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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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