Financials stocks rallied Thursday despite another profit warning from the group, this one from Hibernia Corp.
The New Orleans-based company announced that fourth-quarter profits would fall to 10 cents per share, sharply below expectations of 34 cents. Profits in the third quarter were 30 cents. Hibernia also said it was adding $70 million to its loan loss provision. (See related story, page 1.) The warning came just three days after the departure of chief executive officer Stephen Hansel. Hibernia had indicated that his resignation was not based on credit issues, but analysts said that the announcement suggested otherwise. At the very least, some said, J. Herbert Boydstun, the new CEO, appeared to be undertaking the time-honored practice of clearing the slate upon assuming office.