January 18, 2008 / 8:45 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Punk Ziegel cuts JPMorgan '08 share view

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Jan 18 (Reuters) - Punk Ziegel cut its 2008 and 2009 earnings view on JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), saying the bank had a difficult quarter and the outlook suggests that it may be some time before it regains the earnings power implicit in its balance sheet.

On Wednesday, the No. 3 U.S. bank said quarterly profits fell a worse-than-expected 24 percent as it lost $1.3 billion on risky mortgages and set aside more money for rising losses on home-equity loans.

Analyst Richard Bove, who finds it hard to believe that the bank needs to take further drastic write downs, said JPMorgan must deal with serious loan loss issues related to a slowing economy in the short run.

In the intermediate term, JPMorgan is facing the likelihood of many of its core businesses growing at slower rates, Bove added. He has a “market perform” rating and a price target of $47 on the stock.

In a note dated Jan. 17, Bove lowered his 2008 earnings estimates on the bank to $3.50 per share from $4.47 per share and 2009 earnings view to $3.91 per share from $4.93 per share.

Earnings will remain under pressure, but the balance sheet is so strong that one might expect the bank to be “opportunistic” and announce a large merger soon, Bove wrote. (Reporting by Nachiket Kelkar in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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