Shares of State Street ( STT) were getting pummeled Tuesday after the bank warned of gathering clouds despite a return to profitability in the second quarter. In midday trading, the stock of the Boston-based asset management and processing bank fell $4.21, or 8.5%, to $45.30. In the quarter, State Street earned $220 million, or 65 cents a share, compared to a loss of $23 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. On an operating basis, which excludes certain merger-related charges, the bank earned 68 cents a share, matching the Thomson First Call consensus estimate. Revenue rose 19% to $1.3 billion, fueled by an increase in servicing and management fees. But investors seemed to focus on the future. In a press release, State Street Chairman and Chief Executive Ron Logue said, "market conditions may not be as favorable in the second half of the year. We expect to face downward pressure on revenue in the short term, due to anticipated increases in interest rates, among other things.'' State Street was one of several banks and financial services firms to report earnings Tuesday, as the second-quarter earnings rush gathered steam. Also reporting Tuesday were AmSouth ( ASO), Raymond James Financial ( RJF) and Jefferies ( JEF). Earnings at AmSouth, the Alabama-based regional lender, rose 8% to $167 million, or 47 cents a share, compared to $154.8 million, or 44 cents per share, a year ago. The bank came in ahead of analyst estimates. But shares of AmSouth were trading slightly lower, down 10 cents to $24.69. On the brokerage front, Jefferies' earnings shined, while Raymond James disappointed. Shares of Jefferies were trading sharply higher, rising $1.58, or 5.5%, after the investment bank reported a 70% gain in second-quarter profits and hiked its dividend 25%. In the quarter, the firm earned $31.8 million, or 50 cents a share, up from $18.7 million, or 32 cents a share. Analysts had expected Jefferies to earn 44 cents in the quarter.
Earnings at Jefferies rose on a surge in investment banking and asset management revenues. Raymond James, meanwhile, missed analyst expectations, as it posted earnings of $29.6 million, or 40 cents a share, compared to $23.6 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts had expected the brokerage to earn 42 cents in the quarter. While revenue rose 16% to $440 million, it came in well below the average analyst expectation of $450 million. Compared to a year ago, trading profits fell 41% to $5 million. The decline in trading revenue also led to a rare earnings miss Tuesday at Merrill Lynch ( MER), the nation's biggest brokerage. Revenue from stock and bond trading by Merrill customers and for the firm's own account fell 44% compared to a year ago. Merrill earned $1.1 billion, or $1.06 a share, up from $977 million, or $1 a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected Merrill to earn $1.09 a share.