Piper Jaffray Cos. swung to a fourth-quarter net loss — its fourth-straight quarterly deficit — on $146.3 million in charges related to its capital-markets business and severance costs.

Revenue also plunged at the middle-market investment bank and institutional securities company amid scant activity in the initial-public-offering and mergers businesses.

Piper Jaffray also said, after a meeting last month with auditors, it had been determined that some stock-based compensation accounting did not meet its accounting standards. It restated its results for 2006 through 2008 to recognize costs of the stock in the year it was awarded rather than spread over the three-year vesting period. The revision hurt those periods' bottom line by $51.7 million.

The company reported a net loss of $153 million, or $9.76 a share, compared with net income of $6.5 million, or 41 cents a share, the year earlier. The latest results included $9.33 a share in charges, primarily related to a writedown in its capital-markets business as part of Piper Jaffray's 1998 purchase by U.S. Bancorp. Piper Jaffray was divested in 2003.

Revenue dropped 60%, to $59.4 million. The average estimate of analysts contacted by Thomson Reuters was for a loss of 72 cents on revenue of $88 million. Investment banking revenue fell 74% from a year earlier.

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