When asked about Jefferies's Monday letter, Sean Egan said in a phone interview with TheStreet that the ratings firm didn't have a response. Of Egan Jones ratings, he said "we are known for our timely, accurate ratings." According to an email obtained by Bloomberg, Egan Jones will provide a response to Jefferies letter later this week.
With the ratings notices, the TV appearances and Monday's letter, it's clear that a war of words has turned into a battle. At a time of widespread market fear and when many bank shares fall to 2011 lows, the stakes are critically high.
As of Monday trading, the letter seems to have stabilized shares - but they're still over 20% below the levels of $12.27 a share prior to Egan's ratings downgrade. After falling more than 4% in early trading to $9.60, Jefferies erased earlier losses and gained nearly 2% to $10.27 a share in afternoon trading. Meanwhile, the KBW Bank Index (BKX) is down over 2% to $36.47.
In its most recent quarter ended in August, Jefferies earned $68.3 million in profits, a slowing on earnings from earlier quarters in the year. About Jefferies's fourth quarter ending in November, Handler wrote that the bank "expect
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV