NEW YORK - Chase Manhattan Corp.'s stock fell as much as 4.3% during Tuesday's stock market activity after an analyst said the New York banking company is likely to miss the consensus forecast for fourth-quarter earnings, given a decline in its venture capital portfolio.
"Based on current market prices, Chase's public venture capital portfolio would be subject to a mark of roughly negative-$320 million," said analyst George Bicher of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.
If the quarter were to end now, the company would probably post per-share operating results of 65 cents to 70 cents a share, he added. This would be markedly below the First Call/Thomson Financial consensus estimate of 18 analysts for 85 cents a share of fourth-quarter earnings.
Nevertheless, Mr. Bicher left intact his 83-cent-per-share estimate because marking the venture capital portfolio to market "is a noncash event and has little effect on cash operating results or the company's ability to meet 2001 estimates."
Though an earnings miss would not sit well investors, Mr. Bicher said, he would consider a "material fall-off in the shares" as a buying opportunity.
Shares of J.P. Morgan & Co., which is in the process of being bought by Chase, also fell in line with the losses posted by Chase's stock.