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Piper Jaffray swings to loss in Q4

US-based investment bank Piper Jaffray has reported a net loss of $116.4m, or $7.38 earnings per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a net income of $7.2m, or $0.49 earnings per diluted share, for the same period in 2010.

Excluding an $118.4m after-tax goodwill impairment charge the company reported a per-share profit $0.11 per share.

Net revenues were $99.22m for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $176.37m for the same period a year ago.

Investment banking revenue dropped 46% from a year earlier to $52.1m and institutional sales and trading revenue slid 37% to $31.6m.

Piper Jaffray chairman and CEO Andrew Duff said that asset management and investment banking revenues improved compared to the third quarter, and M&A revenues, while down, were solid. Institutional brokerage revenues were lower.

"We remain focused on our key objective to increase the proportion of higher-margin, higher-return businesses – public finance, M&A and asset management – in order to improve our return on equity," added Duff.