Shares in Bankers Trust stabilized on Thursday after a sharp drop prompted by disappointing earnings estimates.

By 4 p.m. the stock was trading at $58.875, up 12.5 cents. It had fallen $2.50 to $57.50 on Wednesday as analysts estimates for 1992 slipped from around $8.50 to $7.75 to $8 a share following the company's earnings statement.

The drop in share price "was an overreaction," said James J. McDermott, of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

The bank had announced that it would increase its dividend 10% and that fourth-quarter earnings would be in the same range as a year earlier, when they were $1.40 per share.

Beside the Point

At a meeting Thursday, a few analysts pressed for details on the upcoming earnings report, but bank officials stuck to a scheduled presentation on the arcane, albeit important, subject of the bank's internal methods for evaluating trading risk, one attendee said.

"It was more of a general education seminar," said analyst George Salem of Prudential Securities. "The meeting didn't deal with the decline of the stock. There was no comfort about the future. There was comfort that Bankers Trust is a highly astute player in global finance."

The bank has said that trading profits are down, but "there was nothing new" in the presentation, said Kenneth F. Puglisi of Keefe Bruyette.

Among the points made were that the bank has identified 186 profit centers, that officials evaluate the bank's risk profile and compile a profit and loss evaluation for 90% of the bank every day, and that 94% of the counterparties to the bank's trades are "investment grade" companies - all indications of a stable trading operation.

Banks Drift Down

Other bank shares generally declined slightly on Thursday, as the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.14, to 2982.99 by midafternoon.

The expected leveling off in preholiday trading even calmed activity in shares of First Interstate Bancorp and Norwest Corp., which had jumped on speculation of a merger.

First Interstate was trading at $28, off off 25 cents, while Norwest was off 75 cents at $32.75 by midafternoon.

Shares of BankAmerica Corp. and Security Pacific Corp. both lost ground after shareholders approved their merger plans. BankAmerica was off $1 to $31.25, and Security Pacific fell 75 cents to $25.125.

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