Financial Winners & Losers: PNC Financial

The bank took one more step toward completing its takeover of National City
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PNC Financial Services (PNC) - Get Report said late Monday the Federal Reserve Board approved its $5.6 billion buyout of National City (NCC)

The Department of Justice indicated it will not object to deal as long as PNC divests 61 National City branches after the transaction closes. The companies both have shareholder meetings Dec. 23, and if the deal is approved, it could close by the end of December.

PNC was up 86 cents to 46.98 in mid-afternoon trading.

Late Monday, a Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst said shares

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

could sink to $9, citing the bank's "thin tangible common equity."

Also, FBR analyst Paul Miller reinitiated coverage of the Charlotte-based bank with an "Underperform" rating, in light of the company laying off about 20 high-ranking executives last week as it prepares to integrate

Merrill Lynch


, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, as well as the news that it expects to cut as many as 35,000 jobs over the next three years amid the struggling economy, the ongoing credit crisis and the Merrill integration. There are 308,000 employees combined between the two companies.

Bank of America shares were trading down 37 cents 13.74.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

on Tuesday reported its first quarterly loss since it went public in 1999, losing $2.29 billion during its fiscal fourth quarter.

The Wall Street firm lost $4.97 per share in the quarter ended Nov. 30. In the year-ago quarter, Goldman earned $3.17 billion, or $7.01 per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, forecast a loss of $3.73 per share for the latest quarter. Over the past several weeks, analysts sharply slashed their estimates amid ongoing concern about investment losses. Just a month ago, analysts predicted Goldman would lose just 28 cents per share, with some analysts still predicting a quarterly profit.

Tuesday afternoon, shares were up $7.91 to $74.40.


American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

reported a continued slide in credit quality in November, analysts cut their estimates for the credit card company amid expectations for further credit losses.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. analyst Scott Valentin on Tuesday slashed his fourth-quarter and 2009 earnings estimates for the company, while lowering his price target because of continued broad economic concerns and continued credit deterioration. Valentin cut his price target to $15 from $22, and now expects American Express to earn 20 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared with a prior estimate of 56 cents per share. He cut his 2009 estimate to $1.25 per share from $2.55 per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, forecast earnings of 37 cents per share for the fourth quarter and $2.13 per share for 2009.

The reaction so far has been muted, with American Express shares unchanged at $19.34.

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This article was written by a staff member of