Bankers Trust Corp. on Thursday posted
a 54 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits to $96 million, but
its earnings beat Wall Street estimates and the bank said it was
on track to complete its merger with Germany's Deutsche Bank AG
in the second quarter.
Bankers, which sold itself to Germany's largest bank last
autumn, said it earned 89 cents a share in the fourth quarter,
below the $1.82 it earned in last year's fourth quarter but well
ahead of the 58 cents a share analysts expected it to earn,
according to tracking service First Call.
"Our merger remains on track for completion in the second
quarter, and our integration teams are making excellent progress
toward forming what promises to be a global financial
powerhouse," Bankers Trust Chairman Frank Newman said.
The bank, which grappled with large third-quarter losses and
turmoil in emerging markets, recorded $36 million in expenses in
the fourth quarter due to its cost-cutting plans. It has laid
off about 400 employees, primarily in the fourth quarter, and
closed offices in Latin America and elsewhere.
In the fourth quarter, its emerging markets group posted a
net loss of $205 million, down from a net loss of $328 million
in the third quarter but above a loss of $62 million in last
year's fourth quarter. Bankers' investment banking business had
net income of $137 million compared to $162 million in last
year's fourth quarter while trading and sales recorded net
income of $90 million, up from $14 million a year ago.
At the end of December, Bankers had $5.4 billion in emerging
markets cross-border exposure to Asia, Latin America and Russia,
down 18 percent from the end of September. Weak economic
conditions in Asia created trading losses there, as in Latin
America, the bank said.