NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For more than a year I've sung the praises of U.S. Bancorp's (USB - Get Report) consistent operational performance, which in my opinion had gone underappreciated by investors who were more enamored with growth.
I won't disagree there's considerably more "flair" associated with the likes of Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C). But they also come with an equal amount of risk. I don't believe in substituting "high profile" for fundamental metrics such as operating margin, earnings per share and return on equity -- areas where U.S. Bancorp has consistently outperformed. After another solid earnings report, shares of this bank still look cheap.
So it came as no surprise that U.S. Bancorp posted a 2.4% revenue decline. Relative to expectations, I would say the performance wasn't that bad, especially since the bank improved revenue by 1.5% sequentially, which was on par with both Citigroup and JPMorgan.As with Bank of America and Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp seemed to have had a hard time this quarter with mortgage lending, which led to slight decline in net interest income (NII). But unlike Bank of America, which posted 4% decline in fees, U.S. Bancorp was able to offset its net interest income weakness with a 5% sequential increase in fees.