A less than spectacular recovery in the trading environment has prompted Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. analyst Raphael Soifer to revise downward his 1994 and 1995 earnings-per-share estimates for Bankers Trust New York Corp. and J.P. Morgan & Co.
"Our previous estimates had assumed that the fixed-income, currency, and related derivatives markets would have returned to some kind of normalcy in the second half," he said Monday. "That hasn't happened yet."
At noon, J.P. Morgan stock was trading at $60.25, off 12.5 cents. Bankers Trust stock was off 65.5 cents at $66.
Mr. Soifer said he changed his estimates for Bankers Trust's earnings for this year to $8 per share, from $9. His 1995 earnings estimates were revised from $11.25 per share to $10.
The analyst also noted that the global pattern of rising interest rates has led to a downturn in the volume of new debt issuance, which is expected to affect Bankers Trust's corporate finance and client-related trading revenue.
Despite this, Mr. Soifer reiterated his six-to-12-month "buy" rating on Bankers Trust stock.
"For investors with a six-to-12-month time horizon, these are still very cheap stocks," he said. "They are still quite attractive."
The Brown Brothers analyst revised his estimates for J.P. Morgan, for much the same reason.
Mr. Soifer said he dropped his earnings estimates for 1994 to $6.40 per share, from $7.25. For 1995, he revised Morgan's estimate to $7.50 per share, from $8.25.
"If present market trends continue, one would have to assume that J.P. Morgan's clients, as well as its own traders, will remain relatively risk-averse for the remainder of the year given the difficult market conditions which occurred earlier on," Mr. Soifer said.
Mr. Soifer said Morgan had a large one-time gain in the second quarter from the sale of stock in Columbia HCA Healthcare Corp.
"Morgan,s trading revenue might be a little bit better this quarter," he said, "because the are more active in the emerging markets." He maintained his six-to-12-month "buy" rating on Morgan's stock as well.
Analysts said they have not seen the expected recovery in the trading environment this year and no movement is likely until 1995.
"The trading environment is pretty much more of the same this year," said Salomon Brothers Inc. analyst Diane B. Glossman. "There is limited upside potential for this year. One hopes this will change next year."
According to Ronald I. Mandle, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., trading profits this year should be up slightly at Bankers Trust and J.P. Morgan.
"However, they will still be weak compared to what we got used to last year," he said. "The customer order business in derivatives has picked up some, though."
Mr. Mandle said users of derivatives have put the Procter & Gamble debacle behind them and are willing to take a chance in the derivatives market again. But, he said, the environment for proprietary trading remains weak and is not expected to recover until next year.
The analyst said he, too, has revised earnings expectations for the two banks. Bankers Trust earnings per share should be $2, he said, down from $2.09, for the upcoming quarter. At J.P. Morgan, he predicted, earnings should fall to $1.00 per share, from $1.73.
In a separate action, Brown Brothers analyst Nancy Bush raised NationsBank Corp. to "trading buy," from "neutral," on a price basis. In addition, the analyst lowered her 1994 earnings estimate to $6.15 per share, from $6.25. Ms. Bush maintained her 1995 estimate of $6.90 per share.
The revision was prompted by the fact that NationsBank's stock was pummelled last week, losing 6.6%, compared with the rest of the regional bank stocks, which only lost 3.3% during the down week.
NationsBank stock was up 25 cents, to $47.75 in midday trading.