Investors see nothing in fourth-quarter earnings to boost share prices in the battered home equity sector.

On Thursday, FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. of Dallas reported net income of $8.6 million, or 22 cents a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $49.6 million a year earlier. The company announced in December that it was eliminating its use of gain-on-sale accounting, and the earnings drop was expected by analysts.

FirstPlus stock-which opened at $30 a share Thursday, the day of the announcement-traded as low as $28.375 during the day.

On Friday, First Alliance Corp., Irvine, Calif., reported net income of $9 million, or 42 cents per share for the quarter; net income for the year was $32.8 million, or $1.49 a share, 3 cents more than analysts' 1997 estimates. Despite higher than expected earnings, First Alliance's stock dropped from the day's opening price of $15.50 to close at $13.375.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.