April 1, 1998 in Nation/World

Bankamerica Weighs Cost-Cutting Steps

From Staff And Wire Reports

BankAmerica Corp. said it’s considering cost-cutting in its retail banking unit, the biggest on the U.S. West Coast.

“Given industrywide pressures on operating margins, (cost cuts are) a consideration,” the bank said in a statement. A spokesman declined to provide details.

The bank, the fifth-largest in the U.S., plans to cut annual expenses in the retail business by about $500 million, or 10 percent, by the end of next year, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter analyst Nigel Dally said in a report to clients.

Dally raised his 1999 earnings forecast for BankAmerica to $5.70 from $5.55, to include the benefits of the savings. He raised his 12-month price target on BankAmerica to $90 a share, from $83 and rates the San Francisco-based company “outperform.”

BankAmerica rose $1.62-1/2 to $82.62-1/2 in trading Tuesday.

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