Bank analysts held sway over the market Friday, as gloomy outlooks dragged down most bank stocks.
Keefe, Bruyette and Woods analyst cut earnings estimates on 19 regional banks by a median of 5.6%, as credit markets and residential mortgage markets continue to wreak havoc on banks profits. Shares of
fell $1.03, or 7% to close at $13.63, hitting a new 52-week low. First Horizon is facing mounting loss reserves as non-performing assets increase.
Other losing banks included
Imperial Capital Bancorp
, which plunged 9.1% to $20.38 and
, which slipped 9.2% to $18.17.
A JPMorgan Chase analyst cut his 2008 earnings estimates for
Bank of America
, sending the national banks downward. BofA shares fell 96 cents to $39.41. Shares of Wachovia fell $1.16, or 4.1%, to $27.21.
Citigroup, like BofA and Wachovia, also faces further writedowns in the first quarter, the analyst wrote in the note. Media reports on Friday said Citi was preparing a $4.5 billion five-year note sale. The bank's shares, however, dipped only 28 cents to $24.08.
Other national banks fell in tandem.
plummeted $1.32, or 11.5%, to $10.17.
In other banking news,
Fifth Third Bancorp
is the latest name to surface as a possible buyer for struggling
. Fifth Third ticked up 16 cents to $22.71, while Nat City dropped another 80 cents to $8.99.
The KBW Bank Index was down 2.2% to 82.46. The
Financial Sector Index closed down 65.26 to 7,638.15.
On the positive side, futures broker
shot up for the second day in a row to $12.25, a gain of 6.8%. The Bermuda-based company is pursuing financing alternatives that could include the sale of a minority stake in the company or the issuing of longer-term debt, but not a full acquisition of the company, according to
The Wall Street Journal
. The firm has hired investment bank Lazard to help it with the process.