NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank earnings in the fourth quarter could be a tough read for investors, as a number of one-time charges and gains could cloud the scorecard.
Analysts already have significantly lowered their estimates for the fourth quarter, with weak capital markets and trading activity and the
Low expectations are usually a good thing, because the downside is limited from an upset and companies that do manage to positively surprise could see shares move higher.
However, it might not be easy at the very first glance to tell if a bank has managed a clean earnings beat in what is likely to be a very noisy quarter.Analysts routinely differ in the way they adjust for one-time gains and charges when arriving at their final estimates, but most likely will have a long list of special/lumpy items that they will have to exclude in their analysis of fourth-quarter results. Already some banks have warned of the special items that could figure in their earnings reports this quarter. Citigroup (C) has said it will record a
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