Regional banking company
reported a sharp jump in fourth-quarter profit but fell just shy of analysts' expectations.
Net income at the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company totaled $416.9 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with $305 million, or 55 cents a share, a year ago. Operating earnings totaled $415.8 million, or 75 cents a share, excluding $1.1 million in net after-tax merger-related gains.
The company said year-ago results were negatively affected by merger-related and nonrecurring expenses, which collectively totaled $71.8 million on an after-tax basis.
Analysts expected 76 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.
Average loans and leases totaled $67.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2004, an increase of 9.3%. Total noninterest income was up 17.4% to $548.2 million.
Shares closed at $40.17 Thursday.