Banc One Corp. said it may take an undetermined charge to second- quarter earnings in order to cover further restructuring of its branch system.
The charge would come in addition to a $150 million charge expected in the same quarter for the acquisition of First USA Inc.
Jay S. Gould, director of investor relations, said a disclosure in the annual report referred to a review of the company's delivery system, which includes branches, automated teller machines, and telephone banking. The review "may or may not result in a charge," he said.
"While the exact impact of the review is not yet known, the outcome may include a variety of initiatives, possibly including consolidation of functions, installations, or operations," the disclosure read. "These initiatives could result in a charge to earnings, the magnitude of which cannot presently be determined."
Some analysts said they believe Banc One is planning to close branches and consolidate some operations as part of a centralization program. "I'm trying to think what else it could be," said Michael Ancell, an analyst at Edward D. Jones.
Anthony Davis, an analyst at Dean Witter, said he believes Banc One may be contemplating an additional $150 million charge. It is correct to take the charges in the second quarter, he said, and the market is likely to look past their impact and toward future earnings.
"They should flush whatever transition costs they have with this First USA charge," he said.
Banc One said in January it would buy First USA for $7 billion.