Big brokerages hint a comeback in earnings after '84 stock sag

The weaker stock market in 1984 has taken its toll on brokerage earnings. But reports from major brokers also show a gradual recovery may be under way. Paine Webber reported that after a $4 million loss last quarter, earnings were up $2.7 million (16 cents a share) this quarter. For the year, earnings were $13 million (77 cents a share), down 85.7 percent from last year's record of $90.6 million.

E. F. Hutton saw third-quarter operating profits sag 36 percent, but revenues were up and the firm posted a $13 million earnings gain (48 cents a share) for the quarter.

Merrill Lynch posted a $33 million operating loss in the second quarter. This quarter, a 27 percent revenue increase and one-time gains, including the sale of its corporate headquarters, boosted net earnings to $80 million (87 cents a share).

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