Comerica Inc.'s poorly performing shares slipped further Wednesday after being downgraded by Lehman Brothers and McDonald & Co.
Analysts at the brokerage firms said they were concerned about the bank's earnings and dilution from the pending acquisition of Pacific. Western Bancshares.
A third firm, Chicago Corp., said it removed the Detroit superregional from its focus list and cut its earning estimates. But the stock retains Chicago Corp.'s "buy" rating.
Down 10.5% This Year
Comerica was off 12.5 cents, at $28.625, in late afternoon trading. Its shares have been among the worst performers among major banks this year, falling 10.5% while the American Banker index is up 12.4%.
Lehman Brothers analyst Mark T. Lynch shifted his rating to "neutral" from "outperform" on Comerica, saying he did so after trimming his earnings estimates. His 1993 estimate is now $2.85 a share, down from $2.90. For 1994, he expects the bank to earn $3.15 a share, 15 cents less than he last estimated.
Mr. Lynch said he was "not wildly enthusiastic" about the purchase of Pacific Western, based in San Jose, Calif. And he is disappointed that cost savings have not been faster from Comerica's merger with Manufacturers National Corp., Detroit. The merger was completed in the second quarter of 1992. In addition, he expressed concern about weakness in the bank's net interest.
The bank's lagging stock may do better after earning forecasts are adjusted, Mr. Lynch suggested. "Expectations and reality have to converge before we can go forward," he said.
Fred A. Cummings of McDonald also said he was concerned about "delays in cost savings" from the Manufacturers merger as well as the cost of the Pacific Western deal. He said the acquisition will reduce Comerica's earnings by 3 cents to 5 cents cents per share in 1994.
He cut his rating to "long-term buy" from "aggressive buy;" his 1993 estimate to $2.95, from $3, and his 1994 expectation $3.35, from $3.30.
Mr. Cummings expects the stock to trade between $34 and $39 a year from now. Mr. Lynch said it will likely be in the "low 30s" range. The stock opened this year at $32 per share.
Margin Seen as Vulnerable
Analyst Kenneth F. Puglisi at Chicago Corp. said he cut his estimates and removed the bank from the focus list because Comerica's net interest margin is more vulnerable in a flat to declining rate scenario than in a rising rate environment.
He cut his 1993 estimate to $2.90, from $3, and his 1994 estimate to $$3.40, from $3.50.
But he continued his "buy" rating, saying the bank is "materially undervalued" compare with other Midwest banks.
Comerica is paying $133 million, or 1.6 times book value, for Pacific Western, a price considered high in light of the bank's weak earnings and problem loans. Besides the price tag, some analysts have questioned the timing of Comerica's Pacific Western deal, given the slower-than-expected progress in integrating Manufacturers at home in Detroit.
But Pacific Western had put itself up for sale. And Comerica already had accumulated about $1 billion of California assets, buying business-oriented banks in the San Jose and Los Angeles areas.