Investors have good reason to shun the stocks of banks that are aggressive acquirers, according to data compiled by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

A study by the New York investment firm showed that only two of 15 banking companies that made big acquisitions in 1997 and 1998 will meet their per-share earnings goals for 1999. In the worst case, First Union Corp. is falling 23.8% short since its April 1998 purchase of CoreStates Financial Corp.

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