Attempting to set itself apart from its money-center peers, Chase Manhattan Corp. on Wednesday issued a highly optimistic foreshadowing of fourth-quarter earnings.
Thomas G. Labrecque, president and chief operating officer, said the company is "confident" it will exceed the current consensus estimate of $1.07 a share.
"The truth is that we will beat the estimate, and in fact we could have a record quarter," surpassing the $1.20 of the second quarter this year, Mr. Labrecque added in a telephone interview.
The $356 billion-asset holding company gave the indication after the stock market closed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mr. Labrecque said the disclosure was intended in part to counter perceptions that Chase faces the same earnings difficulties as other major banks and investment houses that have warned of substantially weaker fourth-quarter results.
These companies continue to be plagued by volatility in financial markets that has especially hurt trading and securities underwriting activities.
"The only things announced lately are disappointments," Mr. Labrecque said. "We have an obligation to give people a signal that we appear to be different. This is a better way to do it."
On Monday, Goldman, Sachs & Co. said its profits for the fiscal fourth quarter, ending Nov. 27, plunged 81%, to $107 million, because of trading losses.
Last week, J.P. Morgan & Co. said its fourth-quarter profits would be lower than the 58 cents a share recorded in the third quarter because of "weak results" in proprietary activities and a $100 million pretax restructuring charge. Analysts' consensus estimate for Morgan was $1.03 before the announcement.
Chase trades at a price-earnings multiple of 12, versus 13 at Citigroup and 14 at Morgan, said David Berry, director of research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
"Chase has been the sad sack of the group in terms of price to earnings," Mr. Berry said. "The perception is way behind reality."
Chase said a number of factors combined to boost its earnings, particularly a rebound in certain wholesale banking businesses, strong results in consumer banking and securities processing, and tight risk management controls.
Fees from loan syndications and high-grade debt issuance surged during the quarter as clients returned to the market. The bank said it gained market share in high-growth businesses, including high-grade debt. It ranked eighth in that business last year, according to Securities Data Co., and the banking company projects it will rise to third.
Gains from venture capital, virtually wiped out in the third quarter, have returned almost to normal levels, Chase said. In the second quarter, Chase recorded gains from equity investments of $370 million.
Trading activities also were not as volatile as in the third quarter, Mr. Labrecque said.
Consumer businesses are projected to grow 15% over last year, the bank said. Retail services and securities processing give "an annuity underpinning" to earnings that have helped smooth the corporate-side turbulence, Mr. Labrecque noted.
He credited the diversity of the bank's product mix and the strength of its management team for contributing to the strong quarterly showing.
"The difference is that this group plays as a team," Mr. Labrecque said. "We are presenting ourselves to the customers as a united front, and it's paying off."