After its shares fell by 45 percent yesterday, causing a new round of fears of a Bear Stearns–like collapse, Lehman Brothers this morning attempted to quell investor anxiety by releasing results a week before they were due. In a statement, the firm said it expects a loss of $3.9 billion after $5.6 billion in write-downs, and announced a plan to "reduce dramatically the firm's commercial and residential real estate exposure" and shore up its balance sheet by spinning off a commercial real-estate division into a new public company and selling a majority of its investment management division for — they hope — $3 billion, among other things.
"This is an extraordinary time for our industry, and one of the toughest periods in the firm’s history,” CEO Richard Fuld said in a statement.
The Times' Floyd Norris is live-blogging this morning's conference call, which did not start out auspiciously: "Here’s a quote that may come back to haunt them: 'Future writedowns are unlikely.'"
Lehman Sees $3.9 Billion Loss and Plans to Shed Assets [NYT]
Live Blog on Lehman [NorrisBlogs]