American Express said it recorded a $748 million provision for credit losses, down 47% from the year-earlier period. The decline reflected continued improvement in credit quality during the latter part of 2009, American Express said.
Also after Thursday's closing bell, Capital One Financial (COF) posted a fourth-quarter profit of 83 cents a share, also on lower provisioning levels for loan losses.
Howeverl, American Express shares were down 8.5% to $38.56 and Capital One fell 11.1% to $37.97 after FBR Capital Markets analysts cut their earnings estimates, citing shrinking margins and new U.S. credit-card regulations.
On Friday, SunTrust Banks (STI) notched a fourth-quarter loss of 64 cents a share, although that number shrank from the year-ago loss of $1.07 a share and was narrower than the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a loss of 75 cents a share. Revenue rose just over 1% to $1.95 billion, also that was below the consensus target of $2.06 billion. SunTrust dipped 0.2% to $24.47.Meanwhile, BB&T (BBT) reported a fourth-quarter profit of 27 cents a share, which was slashed nearly in half from a year ago but still better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. The bank said its provision for credit losses rose by $197 million from a year ago to $725 million. BB&T was falling 3.2% to $28.15. Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) rose 0.8% to $4.57. Earlier, the bank said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed to 56 cents a share, although that was worse than analysts had expected. Although Huntington expanded its loan-loss reserve to $894 million, shares traded higher after the bank said it expects to return to profitability some time during 2010.
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