The top executive at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. delivered a dark forecast for the U.S. economy Wednesday, though he touted his own company's ability to weather the financial crisis.
The unemployment rate will reach 10% easily, and commercial loan troubles are "just beginning," James Rohr, the Pittsburgh company's chief executive officer, told analysts at a conference hosted by AllianceBernstein Holding LP's Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
PNC is ready to repay the federal government's $7.6 billion investment "as soon as possible," Rohr said. However, he said his company would review the pending stipulations for repayment carefully.
Rick Johnson, PNC's chief financial officer, said he is "comfortable" with analysts' estimates for its second-quarter earnings. Analysts on average expect PNC to earn 57 cents a share.
Rohr said that once the financial crisis subsides, he expects PNC to deliver a return on assets of 1.3%. He would not make specific forecasts for post-crisis earnings.