Bloomberg News

U.S. Banks’ Quarterly Profit Estimates Cut 45% by Citigroup

September 12, 2011

(Updates with profit estimates in second paragraph.)

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. banks’ third-quarter profit estimates were cut an average 45 percent by Citigroup Inc. on concern that the global equities rout and volatility in credit markets will pare earnings from trading and investment banking.

Morgan Stanley may post profit of 25 cents a share, lower than a previous estimate of 36 cents, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is forecast to report earnings of 10 cents a share, down from $2.70, analysts including Keith Horowitz wrote in a report dated Sept. 11. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the most profitable U.S. bank, may report $1.17 a share, down from $1.26, they said.

Profit estimates for the next two years were also pared because of faltering economic growth and uncertainties regarding regulations and new capital requirements, Citigroup said. The MSCI World Index has shed 20 percent since the beginning of May on concern that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and a slowdown in the U.S. may stall the global economy.

“A downgrade of that magnitude won’t do anything for investor confidence,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which has almost $100 billion under management. “It does unfortunately come at a time when there’s a lot of uncertainty over Europe.”

The third-quarter profit estimate for Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. lender by assets, was raised to 61 cents a share from 18 cents as a one-time gain from selling its stake in China Construction Bank Corp. helped make up for lower trading revenue, New York-based Citigroup said.

The third-quarter “operating environment has been very challenging,” the Citigroup analysts wrote in the report. “Persistent volatility in U.S. and euro equity and credit markets, declining global growth expectations and little momentum towards a lasting resolution to sovereign issues in Europe have been weighing heavily on investor confidence.”

--With assistance from Chitra Somayaji in Hong Kong. Editors: Chitra Somayaji, Russell Ward

To contact the reporters on this story: Darren Boey in Hong Kong at dboey@bloomberg.net; Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net


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