MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2003 5:43 PM - Reuters U.S. Company News NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - Shares of LaBranche & Co. (LAB) , a New York Stock Exchange specialist, fell sharply after Monday's closing bell, after it warned that its first-quarter earnings would miss Wall Street estimates. Shares of LaBranche, which runs the largest specialist operation on the floor of the NYSE, dropped to $15.75 on Instinet, down from its close of $18.38. LaBranche said it expects first-quarter earnings of 6 cents to 8 cents a share, compared with analysts' target range of 21 cents to 30 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. ----------------------- As much as I hate the specialists, this is not good news, because it reflects how difficult the listed trading has become lately. I would appreciate if you comment on this news, and share your thoughts on the future of listed trading and how you personally are preparing/adjusting yourself.