UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-JP Morgan sees Q2 loss at Merrill Lynch

jueves 3 de julio de 2008 15:13 CEST

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July 3 (Reuters) - J.P. Morgan Securities said it expects Merrill Lynch & Co Inc MER.N to post a loss in the second quarter on additional write-downs, and that Merrill was more likely to sell its stake in Bloomberg than in BlackRock Inc (BLK.N: Cotización) if it needed to raise capital.

JP Morgan, which kept its "neutral" rating on the stock, values Merrill's 20 percent stake in financial data company Bloomberg LP at about $3.3 billion.

Merrill, the No. 3 Wall Street investment bank, has a nearly 50 percent stake in money manager BlackRock.

JP Morgan expects Merrill to post a second-quarter loss of $2.00 a share, down from its prior view of breakeven.

For 2008, JP Morgan expects Merrill to report a loss of $2.18 a share, compared with its earlier estimate of a loss of 4 cents a share.

Merrill still has significant exposure to residential and commercial mortgages, totaling about $65 billion, JP Morgan wrote in a note to clients.

Merrill shares closed at $31.15 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by S John Tilak and Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)