Conceding that Bank One Corp. erred in offering overly optimistic guidance to analysts on its earnings outlook, chairman John B. McCoy acknowledged what many analysts already believed: The job of forecasting results had become far more difficult after an aggressive round of acquisitions.

Mr. McCoy laid much of the blame on subordinates, saying they had provided him with earnings estimates that were greatly exaggerated. "Our people say, 'This is what we think we can do,' " Mr. McCoy said, adding that the banking company thought reaching its goals for its troubled credit card unit was "doable."

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