Shares of Cincinnati-based bank Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) - Get Report  rose Tuesday after the regional bank reported fourth-quarter earnings rose 33% from a year earlier. 

Fifth Third posted earnings of 69 cents per share in the period, a 33% jump from the year-ago quarter, on revenue of $1.66 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to report earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $1.66 billion. 

"Our fourth quarter and full year results were very strong. In 2018, we produced record results, generated profitable relationship growth, benefited from our improved balance sheet resiliency, and diligently managed our expenses while continuing to invest for future growth," said CEO Greg D. Carmichael.

The company said that it returned $2 billion to shareholders last year through share repurchases and dividend payouts, including a nearly 40% increase in the dividend by the end of the year. 

"With the conclusion of Project NorthStar at the end of 2019, the ongoing MB Financial integration efforts, and a clearly-defined set of strategic priorities for the future, we remain very confident in our ability to achieve our long-term financial targets and outperform through the cycle," Carmichael said. 

Fifth Third Bancorp shares closed up 2.1% to $27.56 by the end of trading.