Nearly four months after the departure of its chief executive, Oregon's West Coast Bancorp is showing signs of operational wear, with earnings weakening at a clip that has analysts scrambling to keep pace.

The Lake Oswego institution, the largest banking company headquartered in Oregon, missed consensus third-quarter earnings per share estimates by 15% when it reported in late October that earnings had fallen 6.5%, to $4.24 million, or 27 cents per share. Analysts responded last week by cutting 1999 earnings estimates as low as $1.13 per share, the third downward revision since August.

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