Merrill Lynch reports $1.97 bn Q1 loss

April 17th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 17 (DPA) US stock broker Merrill Lynch reported Thursday a net loss of $1.97 billion in the first quarter of 2008 in what it called a “challenging environment” and announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs. The red ink figures, coming in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, compared with net earnings of $2.l6 billion in the first quarter of last year.

The net loss for the period was $1.96 billion, the company said, while the loss which includes preferred stock dividends came to $2.14 billion. In the first quarter last year, the preferred stock dividends figure showed a profit of $2.11 billion.

A company statement said that “in this challenging market environment, which continued to deteriorate during the quarter, first-quarter 2008 net revenues were $2.9 billion, down 69 percent from the prior-year period, primarily due to net write-downs totalling $1.5 billion… and credit valuation adjustments of negative $3.0 billion.”

Excluding these factors, Merrill Lynch’s statement said, net revenues were $7.4 billion, down 26 percent from the first quarter of 2007.

John A. Thain, company chairman and chief executive officer, commented, “Despite this quarter’s loss, Merrill Lynch’s underlying businesses produced solid results in a difficult market environment.”

He noted that the company had $82 billion in excess liquidity, increasing from end-2007 levels, “and we remain well capitalized. In addition, our global franchise is positioned strongly for the future, and we continue to invest in key growth areas and regions.”

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