Stocks quoted in this article:
Brokerage titan Merrill Lynch (MER – 57-3/16) is castigating some of its peers today, announcing a series of earnings estimate reductions shortly before the open. The firm reduced its 2000 and 2001 earnings estimates for Goldman Sachs Group (GS – 100-1/4), Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH – 118-7/8), and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MWD – 77-5/16). Additionally, MER cut its earnings estimate for Citigroup (C – 49-11/16) for 2001 only.
MER's 2000 earnings estimate for GS was reduced from $6.45 to $6.20, while its 2001 estimate fell from $6.65 to $6.30. For LEH, MER trimmed its 2000 estimates from $13.10 to $12.65, and 2001 earnings are now expected at $12.05 rather than $12.50. MWD saw its 2000 earnings expectations fall from $5.10 to $4.95, while 2001 earnings were reduced to $4.70 from $4.80. For C, MER nudged its expectations lower from $3.10 to $3.05 (all numbers indicated are on a per-share, full-year basis).
All four downgraded names are trading lower today, albeit slightly.