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May 28 (Reuters) - Capital One Financial Corp's (COF.N) earnings forecast was lowered by Lehman Brothers Inc analyst Bruce Harting, who said the credit card and banking company has reduced its emphasis on growth to become a more "conservative capital generator."
Harting cut his forecast for profit per share to $1.38 from $1.53 for the second quarter, to $5.25 from $5.60 for 2008, and to $5.95 from $6.15 for 2009.
The analyst expects asset growth to be 1 percent in 2008 and 2 percent in 2009 for the fourth-largest U.S. issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards. He maintained his "equal weight" rating and a price target of $62 on the stock.
Harting expects McLean, Virginia-based Capital One to increase U.S. card receivables by about 1 percent this year, as it reduces its exposure to auto finance.
He also said asset growth will be slow in 2009 "since we anticipate that charge-offs will continue rising throughout most of 2009 and the company will maintain its conservative course during this period."
Analysts on average expect profit per share of $1.33 in the second quarter, $5.17 in 2008 and $5.89 in 2009, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of Capital One fell 40 cents at $48.13 in early morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Sweta Singh; Editing by Dinesh Nair)