E*Trade Financial lost more than half its market value Monday, after an analyst suggested that the company might have to seek bankruptcy protection if panicked customers withdraw deposits because of its faltering mortgage investments.
E*Trade, an Internet-based brokerage and bank, called the analyst's comments "irresponsible" and assured customers Monday that it remained "well capitalized by regulatory standards." Other analysts said the risk of bankruptcy for E*Trade was remote. But the 59 percent drop in its stock fueled speculation about the company's future.
TD Ameritrade Holding has already expressed an interest in buying E*Trade, and some were theorizing that it could try again now that E*Trade's price tag has dropped so sharply. But others doubted that TD Ameritrade would want to revisit talks amid the recent turmoil.