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Lehman Lowers Estimates, Targets for JP Morgan, Citigroup

Lehman Brothers changes its rating system for JP Morgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) to equal-weight. Both stocks had been rated strong buy.

Analyst Brock Vandervliet says there is a confluence of negative trends and high headline risk particularly for large institutions. Says commercial asset quality is at best only stable, and they have relatively high levels of troubled assets. The analyst thinks consumer credit could deteriorate in prolonged economic malaise. Vandervliet says capital markets remain extremely weak. The analyst notes potentially permanent changes to business through growing litigation and regulatory action.

For JPM, the analyst cut $2.45 2002 EPS estimate to $2.35. For C, the $3.15 2002 EPS estimate was cut to $3.10. Vandervliet cut $39 JPM price target to $31, and $55 C target to $43.

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