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Roberston Stephens cut its investment rating on credit card company Providian (PVN
) to long term attractive from buy, citing a combination of rising delinquencies, net chargeoffs and appreciated valuation. The stock was down 2-7/8, at 51-3/4.
Analyst Jordan Hymowitz says the Fed's rate cut is not a direct benefit to Providian in that most of its cards are tied to the prime rate and re-price downward immediately. He said the benefit of rate cuts is indirect as potentially reduced chargeoffs could mean lesser debt burden on the borrower.
Hymowitz said Providian is well-reserved for losses, but stock appreciation potential will be capped as long as credit quality deteriorates. He noted the company has indicated chargeoffs will be above 8% in the fourth quarter.