PNC Bank Corp. said Friday that it had suffered a $79 million loss after selling $1.8 billion of fixed-rate securities in the last week of December, a move that will push fourth-quarter earnings sharply below Wall Street expectations.

The bank said it will likely report earnings of $136.9 million, or 58 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, 19.4% less than the $170 million, or 72 cents a share, anticipated by analysts. Those results are also 19.8% less than the $171.4 million it earned in the same period of 1993.

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