Bankers Trust Corp. further clouded the suddenly gloomy bank earnings outlook Tuesday by disclosing $350 million of pretax trading losses so far this quarter.
Those losses, attributed primarily to a writedown of Russian securities, plus a $100 million credit provision and weak results in investment banking would cause an overall net loss for the third quarter, the $170 billion- asset banking company announced.
Bankers Trust put its numbers in a press release issued before the stock market opened Tuesday morning. It did not make officials available for further comment.
After the market closed, Citicorp said its third-quarter earnings would be reduced by about $200 million after taxes by trading and otherRussia- related losses.
Bankers Trust was the second money-center institution-the other was Republic New York Corp., last Thursday-to specify trading losses that would erase this quarter's profits.
Bankers Trust's loss to date is more than three times the $110 million reported by Republic New York and 60% larger than BankAmerica Corp.'s $220 million.
As many bank stock prices rebounded Tuesday, Bankers Trust shares fell by $4 early and closed at $73.125, down $1.1875.
Citicorp shares also struggled in the wake of Monday's announcement that the Salomon Smith Barney unit of its merger partner, Travelers Group, had $360 million of Russia-related bond losses. (See back page.)
In its own announcement, in the form of a staff memo from chairman John Reed and president Victor Menezes, Citicorp did not elaborate on the bottom-line effect of its $200 million of losses. The company earned $2.16 billion in the first half.
Analysts had expected Bankers Trust to be hurt the most by the Russian financial crisis because in relation to its size it has more exposure to emerging markets than peers such as Chase Manhattan Corp. and J.P. Morgan & Co.
But the analysts were surprised by the extent of Bankers Trust's losses.
"Nobody thought they'd be hit this badly," said Keefe, Bruyette & Woods' research director, David Berry.
At the beginning of the year Bankers Trust's exposure to Russia was $1.1 billion. That was down to $350 million by Monday. Most of what remains is loans to Russian businesses, half of those backed by a parent company based in Western Europe, the bank said.
The New York-based bank, the United States' seventh largest, said that in addition to the $100 million provision to cover losses from Russia and Asia, it charged $10 million against its credit allowance because of Russian loan defaults.
The bank took a hit from Asian economic troubles last fall, posting a $27 million loss in Asia operations. It managed to rebound this year, in part because of robust profits from trading and underwriting. "The first- half result was a balancing act between investment banking and Asia," Mr. Berry said.
Combined profits of $403 million from investment banking and trading helped Bankers Trust overcome losses of $14 million in Latin America and $97 million in Asia so far this year, the bank said.
Bankers Trust did not estimate the extent of this quarter's overall losses. Robert B. Albertson, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., projected it to be $2.75 a share. During the second quarter Bankers Trust's operating earnings were $2.06 a share.
Defaults on loans to a number of U.S.-based hedge funds only exacerbated the decline, analysts said. Mr. Albertson called that "very disappointing."
The last time trading losses hit Bankers Trust this hard was in the first quarter of 1995, from activities in Latin America, a spokesman said.
Roundly criticized then for its reliance on market-related income, Bankers Trust has been working to diversify into asset management and securities processing, but market activities prevail.
At yearend 1997, Bankers Trust's investment banking profits of $490 million made up 56% of total profits. For the first six months this year investment banking profits of $268 million-including an acquisition charge- contributed 69% of total profits.
"They have been working to reduce their dependence," said Raphael Soifer, an analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. "But they are still an investment bank. They are still defined as market-dependent."
Last year Bankers Trust bought Baltimore-based Alex. Brown & Sons and its equity underwriting business. This spring it bought the Europe-based equity underwriting and research business of Natwest Group.
The Alex. Brown acquisition was lauded by Wall Street for bringing an additional source of fee income. Alex. Brown specializes in stock and bond financings for the technology sector and other emerging industries.
But that pipeline slowed to a trickle over the last eight weeks, analysts said.
In stock underwriting for July and August, Bankers Trust ranked seventh, with $521.8 million, according to Securities Data Co. During the same period in 1997 it ranked third, with $1.7 billion.
In initial public offerings, Bankers Trust ranked sixth in the same period both years, but this year's proceeds of $242 million were down from 1997's $375 million, Securities Data said.
Other firms have also seen a pullback in equities. There were 114 stock underwritings during July and August, for a total of $12.4 billion, compared to 223 last year totaling $19.3 billion, according to Securities Data. There were 65 IPOs in those months this year, for a total of $5.2 billion, compared with 106 last year for $6.7 billion.
Mr. Albertson and others said they expect Bankers Trust to bounce back this year. "It's part of being in the investment banking business," Mr. Albertson said. "Historically, these corrections are followed by sharp rebounds."