Stern Stewart & Co. has issued a correction of a recent statistical analysis of banks' performance, saying its report understated the "market value added" last year by Fleet Financial Group and U.S. Bancorp.

The New York consulting firm said Fleet actually had a market value added of $3.7 billion, to rank 11th among the 100 banks in the report. Stern said U.S. Bancorp should have ranked 20th, with an MVA of $2.1 billion.

The original report, which was the subject of a page 1 article July 24, "Cold Water on Idea of Banks as Hot Performers," put Fleet and U.S. Bancorp at the bottom of the ranking. The errors were reflected in charts that accompanied the article.

Stern said it regretted the errors, which resulted from the use of data that understated the number of shares outstanding in the two banks.

"Market value added" is Stern Stewart's measure of the degree to which the management of companies has increased or reduced the value of capital provided by investors.

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