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Another Record Profit for Bear Stearns

The Wall Street firm also posts a record fourth quarter, driven by gains in its fixed income unit.
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Bear Stearns

(BSC)

on Wednesday reported record profit for the second straight year in 2003, capped by a fourth-quarter performance that easily beat analysts' expectations.

The Wall Street firm had a profit of $288.3 million, or $2.19 a share, on revenue of $1.5 billion in its fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, 2003. The consensus estimate was $1.81 a share, according to Thomson First Call. Net income rose 51% while revenue increased almost 40%.

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That compares with $190.5 million, or $1.36 a share, on sales of $1.1 billion a year ago.

For the full year, earnings were $1.2 billion, or $8.52 a share, on revenue of $6 billion.

The company said its fixed-income division "continues to deliver exceptional results with strong performance across our mortgage, credit and interest rate products areas," and added "the investments we have made in our equity-related businesses will continue to produce returns with improving market conditions, and our current quarter results are evidence of this trend."