Brown Brothers Harriman on Tuesday downgraded First Union Corp. shares, citing unimpressive third-quarter earnings and continued deterioration in the regional bank's credit card portfolio.

Analyst Nancy Bush cut First Union to "short-term hold" from "short-term buy" and lowered her 1996 earnings estimate of $6.35 to $6.30. She slashed her 1997 earnings-per-share estimate to $6.85 from $7.10.

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