UPDATE 1-Ladenburg's Bove cuts Wachovia price target to $17

jueves 10 de julio de 2008 13:44 CEST

(New throughout, adds share movement)

July 10 (Reuters) - Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Richard Bove cut his price target on Wachovia Corp WB.N by $2 to $17 on Thursday, a day after the company named a senior Treasury Department official chief executive and forecast a second-quarter loss wider than many analysts' expectations.

Wachovia, the fourth-largest U.S. bank, on Wednesday named Robert Steel CEO and forecast a quarterly loss of $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion due to mortgage and legal problems.

Analyst Bove reversed his 2008 estimate for Wachovia to a loss of 23 cents a share from his prior profit view of 69 cents a share. However, he increased his profit expectation for 2009 to $2.77 from $2.60 a share.

"He (Steel) must turn around a company that has difficulties in many areas," Bove wrote in a note to clients.

The analyst maintained a "neutral" rating on the stock.

He expressed hope that Steel could help Wachovia to be bought by larger peer Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Cotización), where Steel worked prior to his appointment to the Treasury Department.

Wachovia shares were trading up 61 cents at $14.90 before the bell. They closed at $14.29 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)