08 September 2008

Meredith Whitney Cuts 2008 View for Goldman Sachs

We'll start seeing the broker banks reporting earnings soon, with Lehman of special interest reporting on September 18.

Oppenheimer Cuts 2008 View for Goldman Sachs, Merrill, Lehman
Mon Sep 8, 2008 9:11am EDT

Sept 8 - Oppenheimer's Meredith Whitney lowered her 2008 estimates for four large U.S. investment banks, citing higher writedowns, lower trading volumes, weak global equity markets and lower advisory and underwriting revenue.

Whitney expects Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch to take a total writedown of $4 billion and $8.2 billion, respectively, in the third quarter, tied to residential-mortgage and commercial-mortage related positions, and leveraged finance exposures.

The trading volumes for the equity markets and fixed income were weak in the third quarter of 2008 and the major global indices continue to be down more than 9 percent for the year, she said. "As Goldman Sachs revenues are relatively the most equity-linked of its broker peers, the fact that broad global equity market indices are all down double-digits will have a meaningful effect on the company's earnings," Whitney wrote.

The analyst maintained her third-quarter estimates for Morgan Stanley but lowered her estimates for Goldman, Lehman and Merrill.

(Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)