Shares of Hibernia plunged 93.75 cents, to $11.50, on investor concerns about possible credit-quality problems.

The company was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article that cited its troubles with certain loans. The article "really paints a picture that troubles are deep and there is no room at the end of the tunnel," said Christopher Kelley, an analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co.

"I think it is premature to throw in the towel," he added. "I don't see a company that is hiding from answering any questions about credit quality."

A Hibernia spokesman said: "'We think it's a reaction to some of the speculation among analysts and just general uncertainty about the company's performance." To remove some of the uncertainty, Hibernia moved up to Monday, from next Thursday, the date that it will report first-quarter earnings.

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