The upcoming departure of analyst Michael Mayo from Credit Suisse First Boston is giving Chase Manhattan Corp.s investment ranking a bit of a boost on Wall Street.
Mr. Mayo, who had rated Chases shares as a hold, last week dropped his entire banking coverage upon being notified by Credit Suisse First Boston that his job would be a casualty of the firms merger with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. On Monday, DLJ bank analyst Susan Roth reiterated a buy rating on Chase shares. Mr. Mayos low rating of Chase was not surprising. He was not bashful about using low ratings on stocks his rating on Chase had been sell until it announced its deal last month to buy J.P. Morgan & Co., which he had also rated a sell.
But the ratings differences between Ms. Roth and Mr. Mayo were not extreme. Ms. Roth has 11 of the 15 banks she covers rated market perform, including First Union Corp., KeyCorp, and Bank of America Corp. Mr. Mayo rated all three hold.
Ms. Roth, whose rating for Chase has been buy all along, said the company remains a strong franchise. However, she trimmed her per-share earnings estimate for Chase for this year by 7 cents, to $3.93. She also reduced her earnings estimate for next year by 20 cents, to $4.20.
Nevertheless, she wrote that Chase has built a powerful global banking franchise and that the stock is trading at just 11 times our 2001 estimate, a 32% discount to its brokerage company peers.
Ms. Roth did not return phone calls on Monday.
Chase rose $1.25 Monday, or 2.71%, to close at $47.4375. Ms. Roths target price is $65.
Meanwhile, Sandler ONeill & Partners lowered its rating for Hudson United Bancorp to market perform from buy.
Analyst John Kline wrote in a research note that the downgrading is based solely on price appreciation. Since reinstating coverage with a buy rating on May 4, 2000, the stock has risen by 25.2%, he wrote. At our 12-month price target of $30, we no longer believe there is sufficient upside to warrant a buy rating at this time.
Hudson eased $1.5625, or 5.66%, to close at $26.1875.
Also on Monday, Diana Yates at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. downgraded FleetBoston Financial Corp. to maintain from buy following the announcement that Fleet would buy Summit Bancorp of Princeton, N.J.
Ms. Yates said that she sees no compelling reason for investors to currently add to their position in Fleet. She also questioned whether the deal was the right move for Fleet, since it is adding more lower-yielding assets as well as curtailing Fleets stock repurchase program.
However, many analysts held their ratings steady after news of the deal. Judah Kraushaar of Merrill Lynch & Co. reiterated his near-term accumulate, and Nancy Bush of Prudential Securities maintained her strong buy for the stock.
Fleet fell 62.5 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $38.375, Summit rose $3.75, or 10.91%, closing at $38.125.