Impatient investors have not waited for Bank of Boston Corp.'s third-quarter earnings before pushing down the stock price.

The shares were off 12.5 cents, to $23.375, in afternoon trading. They have fallen 8% in value in the past two weeks during a general slide in bank stocks.

Bank of Boston is scheduled to announce earnings on Thursday, making it the last major bank to do so in this round of quarterly results.

Good Results Expected

Its results are expected to be good, with the consensus earnings estimate at 63 cents a share for the third quarter and $2.70 for 1993. That has prompted some along Wall Street to wonder why the bank elected to unveil results nearly a week later than its peers.

Many analysts and money managers are anxious to finish their post-mortems of the third quarter and begin looking toward the end of the year and beyond.

Meanwhile, bank stocks have been sliding lately in what has become their post-earnings mode, particularly after the cut in the prime lending rate to 5.5% from 6% last week by Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. of New York. Analysts said that Bank of Boston, despite not reporting, is trading with the group.

Calendar Is Blamed

John A. Kahwaty, Bank of Boston's investor relations officer, said he did not know why his bank's stock price has moved down.

But without any hesitation he blamed the company's tardiness about its earnings on the calendar.

The bank's directors have long met on the fourth Thursday of each month, Mr. Kahwaty explained. Since 1989 the bank has also released earnings on the same date.

Encouraged by Regulators

That practice was adopted in a period when the Bank of Boston, along with the banking industry in general, was suffering from increasing loan problems. It was encouraged by banking regulators, with whom the company had supervisory agreements until earlier this month.

"During that period we felt it was a stronger approach to have the board in place to review matters on the spot rather than have the directors receive a fax just before the release," Mr. Kahwaty said.

In particular, the loan-loss provision and reasons for it were presented to the board, he said.

|A Huge Impact'

"The quarterly loan-loss provision has a huge impact on earnings and we naturally wanted to base that on the most recent information available to us about our portfolio, chargeoff estimates, and so on," he said.

The fourth-Thursday release date can cause Bank of Boston to seem late with results. That is particularly true whenever the first day of the month is a Friday, as happened in October this year.

That delays earnings news from the bank until the 28th of the month, the last possible date.

Dates Set Way in Advance

The fourth-Thursday board meeting shedules may come in for scrutiny and change, Mr. Kahwaty said.

But he noted that board meeting dates are set up to two years in advance to accommodate the busy schedules of directors.

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