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Credit deterioration, which began in the middle of 2007, likely worsened in the second quarter ended June 30 because charge-offs and nonperforming loans rose at some regional and national banks, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst David George. "Credit trends will continue to show deterioration, particularly in residential construction, credit card and home equity," George wrote in a research note. The analyst cut price targets and earnings estimates for Bank of America Corp., Wachovia Corp. and Comerica Inc. because of further losses tied to loan defaults. He expects overall charge-offs for the banks to total about 1.02% of total loans in 2008 and 0.98% in 2009. Charge-offs, which are loans written off as not repaid, totaled about 0.45% of total loans in 2007. George cut his second-quarter earnings estimate for Charlotte, N.C.-based BofA in half, to 22 cents per share, and dropped his stock-price target for the bank to $32 from $38. George cut Comerica's price target to $34 from $36, and reduced his full-year earnings estimate for the Dallas-based bank to $2 per share from $2.70. George also cut his price target on Wachovia to $20 from $30 and his second-quarter earnings estimate for the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank to 12 cents per share from 69 cents.

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