Paine Webber net income drops 4.6%

April 15, 1993|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Paine Webber Group Inc. reported yesterday that its net income fell 4.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to the large gains posted by two other big brokerage firms, Merrill Lynch & Co. and the Bear Stearns Cos.

Still, the results appeared to be no surprise to Wall Street, as Paine Webber's stock rose 25 cents to close at $27.25 on the New York Stock Exchange. It traded as high as $29 early in the day.

Indeed, some analysts said the earnings were relatively good, especially when considering that Paine Webber posted record pretax income of $116.2 million, up from $115.2 million a year earlier.

"They had a record-level '92 first quarter, and this number is coming out higher than that, so their profitability is quite strong," said Samuel G. Liss, an analyst for Salomon Brothers.

"All three firms have had a very strong early 1993, and the environment is providing good customer demand. The industry's having a very profitable first quarter."

Paine Webber, the nation's sixth-ranked brokerage firm, said its net income totaled $70.9 million, or $1.33 a share, down from $74.3 million, or $1.53 a share, in the first quarter of 1992. The decline in earnings partly reflected a higher tax rate in the 1993 quarter.

The company's net revenues, excluding interest expenses, rose 5.8 percent, to $696.8 million, from $658.7 million a year earlier.

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