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MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 16, 2008--Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) today announced a net loss from continuing operations of $3.4 million, or a loss of $0.22 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2008. In the year-ago period net income from continuing operations was $14.7 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, and $15.1 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the first quarter of 2008, continuing operations generated net revenues of $95.7 million, down 30 percent from $137.0 million for the first quarter of 2007 and down 35 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007.

"We are disappointed to report a loss for the first quarter. This performance was driven by the lowest equity underwriting activity in the industry in the past five years, and a net loss in high yield and structured products sales and trading. In addition, our first quarter results included a severance charge related to reducing headcount in certain areas of the firm," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew S. Duff. "We believe the weakness in the equity environment will carry through the second quarter of 2008. That said, we remain focused on our long-term strategy and growth objectives. We also intend to seize opportunities presented by the market downturn--including selectively hiring talent to enhance our franchise--that can place us in an even stronger competitive position when conditions turn more favorable. We remain confident about the strength of our franchise and market position in the industry."

The company also announced today that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of the company's outstanding common stock. The principal purpose of the share repurchase program is to manage the company's equity capital relative to the growth of its business and to offset the dilutive effect of employee equity-based compensation. The authorization expires June 30, 2010. As of March 10, 2008, Piper Jaffray Companies had 18.8 million common shares outstanding.

    Results of Continuing Operations

    First Quarter

    Net Revenues

    Investment Banking

For the first quarter of 2008, total investment banking revenues were $61.2 million, down 29 percent and down 37 percent, compared to robust activity in the first and fourth quarters of 2007, respectively.

    --  Equity financing revenues were $16.5 million, down 59 percent
        and 62 percent compared to the year-ago period and the fourth
        quarter of 2007, respectively. The reduced performance was
        driven by significantly lower financing activity.
        Industry-wide, the number of completed transactions was down
        nearly 50 percent versus the comparative periods. (Source:
        Dealogic)

    --  Advisory services revenues were $25.3 million, essentially the
        same as the year-ago period, and down 31 percent compared to a
        robust fourth quarter of 2007.

    --  Debt financing revenues were $19.4 million, down 3 percent
        compared to the first quarter of 2007, and up 16 percent
        compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. While taxable
        financing revenues declined year-over-year, public
        finance-related revenues rose compared to the year-ago period
        and the sequential quarter. Higher revenues related to
        short-term municipal products and higher interest rate product
        revenues associated with public finance underwritings led to
        the increase.

The following is a recap of completed deal information for the first quarter of 2008:

    --  15 equity financings raising capital of $2.3 billion,
        excluding the $19.7 billion of capital raised from the VISA
        IPO, on which the company was a co-lead manager. The company
        was bookrunner on 2 of the 15 equity financings. Of the
        completed transactions, 10 were U.S. public offerings, placing
        the company 15th nationally, based on the number of completed
        transactions. (Source: Dealogic)

    --  16 merger and acquisition transactions with an aggregate
        enterprise value of $1.2 billion. The number of deals and the
        enterprise value include disclosed and undisclosed
        transactions. (Source: Piper Jaffray)

    --  69 tax-exempt issues with a total par value of $1.6 billion,
        ranking the company eighth nationally, based on the number of
        completed transactions. (Source: Thomson Financial)

    Institutional Sales and Trading

For the quarter ended March 31, 2008, institutional sales and trading generated revenues of $33.5 million, down 33 percent and 27 percent compared to the same quarter last year and the fourth quarter of 2007, respectively. The reduced performance was mainly driven by a loss recorded in high yield and structured products sales and trading.

    --  Equities sales and trading revenues were $31.2 million,
        essentially the same as the year-ago period and down 10
        percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Increases in
        U.S. equities were offset by lower results in Europe and
        convertibles trading.

    --  Fixed income sales and trading revenues were $2.3 million,
        down 88 percent and 79 percent compared to the year-ago period
        and the fourth quarter of 2007, respectively. The declines
        were mainly attributable to a $4.6 million net loss in high
        yield and structured products sales and trading driven by
        lower commission revenues and trading losses. Public finance
        sales and trading results were a positive contributor to the
        quarter, although down from the comparative periods, mainly
        due to losses incurred in the company's tender option bond
        program.

    Asset Management

For the quarter ended March 31, 2008, asset management revenues were $4.0 million. In the prior-year period, the company had nominal asset management revenues. Revenues were down 26 percent compared to the sequential fourth quarter, mainly due to a loss related to the Goldbond asset management business, which the company is now exiting.

Non-Interest Expenses

For the first quarter of 2008, compensation and benefits expense was $65.3 million, down 19 percent compared to the prior-year period and down 24 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Compensation expense included a $2.5 million severance charge for a headcount reduction. The compensation ratio for the first quarter was 68.2 percent, up from 58.5 percent in the year-ago period and the fourth quarter of 2007. The increase was attributable to the severance charge and fixed compensation costs.

Non-compensation expenses were $34.9 million for the current quarter, down 2 percent compared to the year-ago period, and down 16 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the first quarter of 2008, pre-tax operating margin from continuing operations was a negative 4.6 percent, compared to a positive 16.5 percent in the year-ago period, and a positive 13.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Additional Shareholder Information

                         As of Mar. 31, As of Dec. 31, As of Mar. 31,
                              2008           2007            2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Full time employees:     1,224(a)       1,238          1,091
----------------------------------------------------------------------
FAMCO AUM                $8.3 billion   $9.0 billion   $9.0 billion
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders' equity:    $916 million   $913 million   $931 million
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Return on
 Average Tangible
 Shareholders' Equity(1) (2.3%)         10.2%          7.7%
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Book value per share:    $57.11         $58.26         $54.56
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Tangible book value per
 share:                  $38.33         $38.99         $40.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------

(a)Only a portion of the employees included in the headcount reduction had left the company as of quarter end.

(1)Tangible shareholders' equity equals total shareholders' equity less goodwill and identifiable intangible assets. Annualized return on average tangible shareholders' equity is computed by dividing annualized net earnings by average monthly tangible shareholders' equity. Management believes that annualized return on tangible shareholders' equity is a meaningful measure of performance because it reflects the tangible equity deployed in our businesses. This measure excludes the portion of our shareholders' equity attributable to goodwill and identifiable intangible assets. The majority of our goodwill is a result of the 1998 acquisition of our predecessor company, Piper Jaffray Companies Inc., and its subsidiaries by U.S. Bancorp. The following table sets forth a reconciliation of shareholders' equity to tangible shareholders' equity. Shareholders' equity is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to tangible shareholders' equity.

                                   Average for the
                             ---------------------------
                             Three Months  Three Months      As of
                                 Ended         Ended
(Dollars in thousands)       Mar. 31, 2008 Mar. 31, 2007 Mar. 31, 2008
                             ------------- ------------- -------------

Shareholders' equity              $911,903      $929,232      $915,974
Deduct: Goodwill and
 identifiable intangible
 assets                            301,620       232,834       301,293
                             ------------- ------------- -------------
Tangible shareholders'
 equity                           $610,283       696,398      $614,681
                             ------------- ------------- -------------

Conference Call

Andrew S. Duff, chairman and chief executive officer, and Thomas P. Schnettler, vice chairman and chief financial officer, will host a conference call to discuss first quarter results on Wednesday, April 16 at 9 a.m. ET (8 a.m. CT). The call can be accessed via live audio webcast available through the company's web site at www.piperjaffray.com or by dialing (866) 244-9933, or (706) 758-0864 internationally, and referring to conference ID 41879262 and the leader's name, Andrew Duff. Callers should dial in at least 15 minutes early to receive instructions. A replay of the conference call will be available beginning at approximately 11 a.m. ET on April 18, 2007 at the same web address or by calling (800) 642-1687, or (706) 645-9291 internationally.

About Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray Companies is a leading, international middle-market investment bank and institutional securities firm, serving the needs of middle market corporations, private equity groups, public entities, nonprofit clients and institutional investors. Founded in 1895, Piper Jaffray provides a comprehensive set of products and services, including equity and debt capital markets products; public finance services; mergers and acquisitions advisory services; high-yield and structured products; institutional equity and fixed-income sales and trading; and equity and high-yield research. With headquarters in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has 25 offices across the United States and international locations in London and Shanghai. Piper Jaffray & Co. is the firm's principal operating subsidiary. (NYSE: PJC) (http://www.piperjaffray.com)

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release and the conference call to discuss the contents of this press release contain forward-looking statements. Statements that are not historical or current facts, including statements about beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These forward-looking statements cover, among other things, statements made about general economic and market conditions, our current deal pipelines, the environment and prospects for capital markets transactions and activity, management expectations, anticipated financial results, the expected benefits of acquisitions, expectations regarding the size of inventory positions for certain municipal products, or other similar matters. These statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, and important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or discussed in the forward-looking statements including (1) market and economic conditions or developments may be unfavorable, including in specific sectors in which we operate, and these conditions or developments (including market fluctuations or volatility) may adversely affect the environment for capital markets transactions and activity and our business and profitability, (2) the volume of anticipated investment banking transactions as reflected in our deal pipelines (and the net revenues we earn from such transactions) may differ from expected results if any transactions are delayed or not completed at all or if the terms of any transactions are modified, (3) acquisitions may not yield the benefits we anticipate or yield them within expected timeframes, (4) we may not be able to compete successfully with other companies in the financial services industry, (5) an inability to readily divest or transfer inventory positions of certain municipal products may result in future inventory levels that differ from management's expectations and potential financial losses from a decline in value of illiquid positions, and (6) the other factors described under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Part II, Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and updated in our subsequent reports filed with the SEC (available at our Web site at www.piperjaffray.com and at the SEC Web site at www.sec.gov). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them. We undertake no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.

(C) 2008 Piper Jaffray & Co., 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-7020

Piper Jaffray Companies
Preliminary Unaudited Results of Operations

                             Three Months Ended          Percent
                                                         Inc/(Dec)
                       ------------------------------ ---------------
                        Mar. 31    Dec. 31   Mar. 31  1Q '08  1Q '08
 (Amounts in thousands,
  except per share                                    vs. 4Q  vs. 1Q
  data)                  2008        2007     2007      '07     '07
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------
 Revenues:
 Investment banking    $ 55,265    $ 93,547 $ 83,733   (40.9)% (34.0)%
 Institutional
  brokerage              29,812      39,549   41,694   (24.6)  (28.5)
 Interest                15,159      14,644   17,410     3.5   (12.9)
 Asset management         3,973       5,344      127   (25.7)    N/M
 Other income/(loss)     (1,600)        341      688     N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------
 Total revenues         102,609     153,425  143,652   (33.1)  (28.6)

 Interest expense         6,878       6,923    6,702    (0.7)    2.6
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

 Net revenues            95,731     146,502  136,950   (34.7)  (30.1)
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

 Non-interest expenses:
 Compensation and
  benefits               65,251      85,704   80,116   (23.9)  (18.6)
 Occupancy and
  equipment               8,110       8,710    7,722    (6.9)    5.0
 Communications           6,739       6,476    6,259     4.1     7.7
 Floor brokerage and
  clearance               2,654       3,446    3,515   (23.0)  (24.5)
 Marketing and business
  development             6,096       8,494    5,681   (28.2)    7.3
 Outside services         8,817      10,021    7,317   (12.0)   20.5
 Cash award program           -         481      356  (100.0) (100.0)
 Other operating
  expenses                2,474       4,025    3,400   (38.5)  (27.2)
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------
 Total non-interest
  expenses              100,141     127,357  114,366   (21.4)% (12.4)%
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

Income/(loss) from continuing
 operations before
 income tax
  expense/(benefit)      (4,410)     19,145   22,584     N/M     N/M

 Income tax
  expense/(benefit)        (973)      4,029    7,862     N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

 Net income/(loss) from
  continuing operations  (3,437)     15,116   14,722     N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

 Loss from discontinued
  operations, net of
  tax                         -           -   (1,304)    N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------

 Net income/(loss)     $ (3,437)   $ 15,116 $ 13,418     N/M     N/M
                       =========   ======== ========= ======= =======

 Earnings per basic
  common share
 Income/(loss) from
  continuing operations$  (0.22)   $   0.97 $   0.86     N/M     N/M
 Loss from discontinued
  operations                  -           -    (0.08)    N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------
 Earnings per basic
  common share         $  (0.22)   $   0.97 $   0.79     N/M     N/M

 Earnings per diluted
  common share
 Income/(loss) from
  continuing operations     N/A (1)$   0.91 $   0.82     N/M     N/M
 Loss from discontinued
  operations                  -           -    (0.07)    N/M     N/M
                       ---------   -------- --------- ------- -------
 Earnings per diluted
  common share              N/A (1)$   0.91 $   0.74     N/M     N/M

Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding
 Basic                   15,829      15,663   17,071     1.1 %  (7.3)%
 Diluted                 16,634      16,587   18,018     0.3 %  (7.7)%

 N/M - Not meaningful
 N/A - Not applicable

 (1) In accordance with SFAS 128, earnings per diluted common share is
  not calculated in periods where a loss is incurred.
Piper Jaffray Companies
Preliminary Unaudited Revenues From Continuing Operations (Detail)

                                                          Percent
                                Three Months Ended        Inc/(Dec)
                            --------------------------- -------------
                            Mar. 31   Dec. 31  Mar. 31  1Q '08 1Q '08
 (Dollars in thousands)                                 vs. 4Q vs. 1Q
                              2008     2007      2007     '07    '07
                            -------- --------- -------- ------ ------
 Investment banking
 Financing
 Equities                   $16,518  $ 42,985  $ 40,710 (61.6)%(59.4)%
 Debt                        19,370    16,713    19,969  15.9   (3.0)
 Advisory services           25,325    36,747    24,876 (31.1)   1.8
                            -------- --------- -------- ------ ------
 Total investment banking    61,213    96,445    85,555 (36.5) (28.5)

 Institutional sales and
  trading
 Equities                    31,180    34,639    31,122 (10.0)   0.2
 Fixed income                 2,339    11,185    19,169 (79.1) (87.8)
                            -------- --------- -------- ------ ------
 Total institutional sales
  and trading                33,519    45,824    50,291 (26.9) (33.3)

 Asset management             3,973     5,344       127 (25.7)   N/M

 Other income/(loss)         (2,974)   (1,111)      977 167.7    N/M

                            -------- --------- -------- ------ ------
 Net revenues               $95,731  $146,502  $136,950 (34.7)%(30.1)%
                            ======== ========= ======== ====== ======

 N/M - Not meaningful
Piper Jaffray Companies
Selected Municipal Securities
 Information
                                               Market Value
                                    ----------------------------------
                                    Dec. 31     Feb. 15       Mar. 31
                                      2007        2008          2008
                                    -------- --------------   --------

Selected Trading Securities
 Information:
Variable Rate Demand Notes            $ 32.5        $ 179.7(1)  $135.5

Auction Rate Municipal Securities     $202.5        $ 359.9(1)  $249.7

                                                Par Value
                                    ----------------------------------
                                    Dec. 31     Feb. 15       Mar. 31
                                      2007        2008          2008
                                    -------- --------------   --------

Special Purpose Entities:
Off Balance Sheet Tender Option               Not Disclosed
 Bond                                 $276.5                    $256.1
On Balance Sheet Tender Option Bond   $ 49.1  Not Disclosed     $ 43.3
                                    --------                  --------
  Total Tender Option Bond Program    $325.6                    $299.4




(1) As disclosed in the Company's 12/31/07 Form 10-K.

CONTACT: Piper Jaffray Companies
Investor Relations
Jennifer A. Olson-Goude, 612-303-6277
or
Media Relations
Rob Litt, 612-303-8266

SOURCE: Piper Jaffray Companies