WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (
reported a 35% year-over-year drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Friday, but the regional bank managed to beat Wall Street's profit expectation by a long shot despite escalating credit costs.
BB&T earned $185 million, or 27 cents per share, last quarter, vs. $284 million, or 51 cents per share in the year-ago period. Its income from interest-rate margins, on a taxable-equivalent basis, as well as fees totaled roughly $2.33 billion.
Analysts had expected the bank to earn 21 cents per share on $2.23 billion in revenue.
However, BB&T's credit issues continued to climb, though some metrics grew at a much slower rate than previous periods.
The bank charged off $517 million worth of bad loans, up 10.5% from the previous quarter, while nonperforming assets grew 7%. As a result, BB&T boosted reserves for future losses by nearly $200 million to $725 million. Those figures compare with a 23% surge in third-quarter NPAs, and a $250 million reserve build.
"I am pleased to report solid fourth quarter earnings, given the current credit cycle," said Chairman and CEO Kelly King.
BB&T shares closed at $29.08 on Thursday, up 2%, or 58 cents from the previous close.
Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York