January 18, 2008 / 3:07 PM / 11 years ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-Bernstein cuts targets on Comerica, PNC, BB&T

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 Jan 18 (Reuters) - Sanford C. Bernstein cut its price target on Comerica Inc (CMA.N) following the U.S. regional bank’s quarterly results and said with continued weak earnings and an appetite for mid-to-high single digit loan growth, it would be capital constrained over the foreseeable future.
 Higher levels of loss versus Bernstein’s forecast of 56 basis points in 2008 could lead Comerica to cut dividend, the brokerage added.
 The brokerage also cut its price target on PNC Financial Services Group Inc (PNC.N), and BB&T Corp (BBT.N) following their quarterly results.
 Fourth-quarter profit for PNC, Pennsylvania’s largest bank fell 53 percent, hurt by credit losses and write-downs for commercial mortgages in its portfolio.
 BB&T, a large U.S. Southeast regional bank, reported a higher net income for the fourth quarter but a decline in operating profit as loan losses more than doubled.
 PNC, like CMA is capital-constrained in the near term and should charge-offs be significantly worse than Bernstein’s estimated 58 basis points, PNC would be at risk of cutting dividend, the brokerage said.
 Bernstein, which has a “market perform” rating on the three stocks, made the following changes to price targets and 2008 share view: BANK              PRICE TARGET         EARNINGS-PER-SHARE VIEW
            CURRENT     PRIOR       CURRENT           PRIOR Comerica       $38         $48         $3.75             $4.40 PNC Financial  $62         $71         $5.25             $5.60 BB&T           $31         $33         $3.00             $3.05  (Reporting by Nachiket Kelkar in Bangalore; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)   

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