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Some midmarket brokers see higher Q3 estimates despite fewer completed deals, lower trading volumes

Midmarketbroker/dealers experienced a mixed bag during the third quarter, with M&Avolumes down somewhat, but underwriting volumes up compared to last year,according to industry analysts.

Some linesof business, including equities trading and debt underwriting, were weaker thanthe previous quarter, but typical for the seasonally slower third quarter,Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an Oct. 3 report.

CompletedM&A volume was down about 19% year over year, they wrote. But, on average,analysts expect earnings for advisory-focused broker to improvedramatically year over year, to 33 cents per share from 2 cents per share.

Theenvironment is better than it appears for Greenhill, Sandler O'Neill analystJeffery Harte wrote following meetings with the company's CEO, Scott Bok. TheU.K.'s decision to leave the European Union gave the M&A market pause, butcorporate interest in dealmaking has almost fully recovered since the surprisevote to exit, Bok said, according to Harte's Sept. 21 note.

"Arecurring theme during our meetings was that the M&A environment in 2015was not a good as it seemed and that 2016 is not as bad as it seems,"Harte wrote.

, anotherdeal-focused investment bank, experienced one of the sharpest sell-offs of thesector in response to the U.K. vote. Its shares tumbled more than 23% betweenJune 23 and June 27, but recovered to pre-Brexit levels by the end of the thirdquarter.

JMPSecurities analyst Devin Ryan raised his third-quarter earnings estimate forEvercore to 91 cents per share from 87 cents per share in an Oct. 3 note.

Incapital markets, equity underwriting fees were a bright spot for the industryduring the quarter, jumping 21% over the year-ago quarter, Credit Suisseanalysts noted.

Theextreme volatility in the third quarter of 2015 created a low bar to clear thisyear, JMP's Ryan wrote. In particular, initial equity offerings dried up lastyear, allowing for a 72% increase in IPO volumes in the third quarter, Ryanexplained.

Equitycapital marketsremain challenged overall, he added, though they are improving and showpositive momentum for the fourth quarter.

Debtunderwriting fees rose by 8% year over year, Credit Suisse analysts noted.

Analystsset lower estimates on average for trading-driven companies and KCG Holdings Inc.Both companies face lower expectations for the period compared to the secondquarter and the third quarter of 2015.

Third-quarterglobal exchange volumes were below the past year's levels for the quarter,thanks to the soaring trade volume that accompanied the sell-off in August2015, Credit Suisse analysts noted. U.S. equities volume was down 11% year overyear for the quarter, they wrote.

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