Bear Stearns Cos. said its second-quarter operating earnings fell 21% but beat expectations as a strong bond market helped limit the damage from slumping investment banking and stock trading revenue.
Profit fell to $169.5 million, or $1.18 a share, from a year ago, far better than the $1.09-a-share mean estimate of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. The range of analyst estimates was between $1 and $1.21.
Total net revenue grew 3.8% to $1.37 billion. The bond unit posted a blockbuster quarter, with fixed-income revenue nearly tripling to $514.3 million from $183.0 million a year ago. The company cited the Fed's interest rate cuts as a catalyst for the business.
Investment banking revenue fell 23% to $181.4 million, equity trading revenue fell 17% to $348.4 million, and commission revenue fell nearly 10% to $290.8 million.