Bear Sterns announce 8% rise in first-quarter profits

16 March 2007

Bear Sterns, the fifth largest investment bank in the US, has reported an eight per cent rise in first-quarter profits.

Its profits for the period stood at $548 or $3.82 per share, up from last year's figure of $508.7 million, equivalent to $3.54 per share.

Although the bank is largest underwriter of mortgage securities, setbacks in the parlous US subprime mortgage sector were offset by a strong showing in the firm's fixed income business and equity sales, which rose 27 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, there was further growth in investment banking which grew by three per cent to $303 billion, whilst revenue from capital markets stood at $2 billion - a 15 per cent improvement.

It is thought that the astute cutting back in the bank's subprime loans interests also helped mitigate the damage.

Guy Moszkowski market analyst at Merrill Lynch told "Clearly the subprime issues were not devastating, both because of Bear Stearns' careful risk management, and because mortgages overall don't carry as much of the firm as many seem to think."

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