BankBoston Corp. received a vote of confidence Monday from an influential analyst who urged investors to put the company's overseas exposure in perspective.
Many market watchers are predicting earnings shortfalls for banks with foreign operations-and BankBoston's earnings outlook fell under a shadow in October, when it reported a $20 million trading loss from foreign operations.
But Henry C. Dickson of Salomon Smith Barney said BankBoston has "enough coverage" from wider spreads in Latin America loans, securities gains, and increased foreign exchange income to meet fourth quarter expectations of $1.56 per share.
Shares of the $68.2 billion-asset banking company were off 75 cnets, to $93.625. The decline came during a sluggish day of pre-Christmas trading, with investors continuing to sell shares in major banks. Chase Manhattan was off $1.3125, to $106.9375. Citicorp fell $1, to $127.1875. And Wells Fargo & Co. lost $$2.25, to $332.75.
The Standard & Poor's bank index rose 0.03%, and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.81%. The Nasdaq bank index 0.06%, and the S&P 500 was up 0.74%
Shares of Capital One Financial Corp. rose $1.8125, to $50.25, after announcing that fourth-quarter and full-year earnings will exceed expectations.
The Falls Church, Va., financial company, a large issuer of MasterCard and Visa credit cards, cited improved marketing and "a more positive credit outlook." The factors will allow 1997 earnings to increase by 20%, 5 percentage points more than initially estimated, said chairman Richard D. Fairbank.
The late-year selloff of other bank shares is giving analysts opportunities to point out some perceived pockets of value.
Several market watchers are touting banks in the Southeast, because of takeover prospects and the area's general climate of growth.
Both William Katz of Merrill Lynch & Co. and John Mason of regional investment bank Interstate/Johnson had positive comments about CCB Financial on Monday.
The Durham, N.C., banking company "is a good, low-risk long-term core holding," Mr. Katz said.
Shares fell $1.1875, to $100.8125.
Mr. Mason recommends Wachovia Corp., which rose 50 cents, to $81.375, SunTrust, down 6.25 cents, to $71.1875, and SouthTrust Corp., which fell 75 cents, to $59.75.
Some Texas institutions deserve closer scrutiny now that home equity lending has become legal in that state, said Bradley Ball of Credit Suisse First Boston.
He initiated coverage with a "buy" rating of Cullen/Frost Bankers, the largest independent bank in the state. The stock could reach $68 over the next 12 months and head "even higher in a takeover scenario," Mr. Ball said. Its shares rose $1.4375, to $60, on Monday.