Despite a Good Quarter, Lehman Shares Fall

| About: Lehman Brothers (LEH)

Better-than-expected fourth quarter results from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) were not enough to stave of selling in shares of the financial services firm on Thursday. The stock was down roughly 3% shortly after noon in New York.

Its earnings per share of $1.54 came in $0.10 ahead of consensus, and beat Goldman Sachs’ estimate by $0.19.

This was due primarily to higher equity sales and trading revenues from its private equity business as well as Lehman’s stake in London fund GLG Partners, which went public in November. Many other items were either in line or weaker than forecasted, Goldman analyst William Tanona told clients in a note.

With no major surprises, Lehman, the largest U.S. underwriter of mortgage-backed bonds, appears to have survived a very challenging fourth quarter for the capital markets.

Mr. Tanona also noted that Lehman’s positions and hedges in securitized products and real estate resulted in a $830-million reduction in quarterly revenues.