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Bank Profit Engine? Bad Loans

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. banks saw shrinking revenues over the past year, but earned money mainly due to improvements in their portfolios of troubled loans, according to a report Friday from Standard & Poor's.

The report reaches identical conclusions to one from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. earlier this week , and, indeed, draws from much of the same data, but an analysis by the TheStreet using Bloomberg data shows how the trend plays out with banks in the S&P 500.

Indeed, according to the data, while 14 of the 19 banks in the S&P 500 have posted positive earnings numbers over the past 12 months, the same number saw revenues shrink during the past year.

The only banks that saw revenues grow over the past year are U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report), where revenues grew by 5.74%, People's United Financial (PBCT - Get Report), which saw 4.84% revenue growth, Citigroup (C - Get Report), where revenues grew by 3.2%, BB&T Corp (BBT), where they grew by 2.35% and M&T Bank (MTB) where revenues grew by just 0.32%.

Revenues shrank by double digit percentages at five banks, with First Horizon National Corp. (FHN - Get Report) showing an 18.65% decline, Zions Bancorp (ZION) revenues falling by 17.05%, Comerica (CMA) revenues dropping by 16.26%, Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) revenues falling by 11.82% and Regions Financial (RF - Get Report) showing a drop of 10.40%.

S&P called first quarter revenue growth "disappointing," noting it fell 8% annualized quarter-on-quarter, and 3% year-on-year.

The year-over-year drop in revenues was just the second time in 27 years of available data, S&P wrote, attributing the drop to declining falling net interest income and noninterest income at the largest banks. S&P stated that operating expenses remained in check overall, despite a "seasonal acceleration" in salaries.

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