The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
) reported a positive earnings surprise of almost 9.6%, which was
primarily attributable to the company's cost-containment
measures. The company's first-quarter 2014 earnings per share of
$1.82 outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.66. Moreover,
this compared favorably with $1.74 earned in the prior-year
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Shares of PNC Financial increased around 1% in the pre-market
session, indicating that investors have been bullish on the
results. The price reaction during the trading session will give
a fair idea whether PNC Financial has been able to meet market
Our proven model predicted that PNC Financial will post an
earnings beat as it has the right combination of two key
ingredients - positive
and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-than-expected results were primarily driven by decrease in
both non-interest expenses and provision for credit losses.
Further, an enhanced credit quality and healthy capital ratios
were the positives. However, lower top line was a concern.
The company reported net income attributable to common
shareholders of $992.0 million in the reported quarter, up 6.9%
from the year-ago quarter.
Furthermore, segment-wise, on a year-over-year basis, quarterly
net income in Retail Banking, Non-Strategic Assets Portfolio and
Other, including BlackRock segments rose 31.7%, 39.2% and 41.3%,
respectively, while Corporate & Institutional Banking and
Asset Management Group segments reported a drop of 3.3% and
14.0%, respectively. However, the Residential Mortgage Banking
segment recorded a net loss of $4 million as compared with net
income of $45 million in the prior-year quarter.
Quarter in Detail
Total revenue came in at $3.8 billion, down 5% year over year.
The fall was mainly due to lower net interest income. Total
revenue was also below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.9
Net interest income (NII) was $2.2 billion, down 8.3% year over
year. The fall was mainly due to lower purchase accounting
accretion and reduced core net interest income, which was
primarily driven by a fall in yields on loans and securities.
Moreover, net interest margin (NIM) decreased 55 basis points
year over year to 3.26%.
Non-interest income increased 1% year over year to $1.6 billion.
The rise was mainly due to higher asset management revenues,
corporate services fees and service charges on deposits. These
positives were partially offset by lower residential mortgage
banking revenue and reduced net gains on sales of securities.
PNC Financial's non-interest expense was $2.3 billion, down 4%
from the prior-year quarter. The fall reflected disciplined
expense management with a decline in personnel expense for lower
headcount and benefits costs and the impact of a first-quarter
2013 contribution to the PNC Foundation. These positives were
partially offset by higher legal accruals related to the
residential mortgage banking business and investments in
PNC Financial's overall credit quality improved in the said
quarter. Nonperforming assets fell 16% year over year to $3.3
billion due to improvement in commercial and consumer lending
portfolios and other real estate owned and foreclosed assets.
Nonperforming assets to total assets was 1.02% as of Mar 31,
2014, down 29 basis points from the year-ago quarter.
Moreover, the allowance for loan and lease losses to total loans
was 1.78% as of Mar 31, 2014, decreasing 27 basis points from the
prior-year quarter. Net charge-offs fell 59% year over year to
$186 million. Additionally, provision for credit losses was $94
million, down 60% year over year.
During the quarter, PNC Financial's capital plan was approved by
the Federal Reserve under the 2014 Comprehensive Capital Analysis
and Review (CCAR). The company's 2014 plan included a request to
increase its quarterly common stock dividend in the second
quarter of 2014 and share buyback of up to $1.5 billion for the
four quarter period beginning in the second quarter of 2014 under
the company's existing common stock repurchase authorization.
Therefore, on the Fed's approval, the board of directors of PNC
Financial increased the cash dividend on common stock to 48 cents
per share in April, up 9% from the prior dividend. The new
dividend will be paid on May 5, 2014 to shareholders as of Apr
PNC Financial's capital ratios also improved in the quarter. As
of Mar 31, 2014, the transitional Basel III common equity Tier 1
capital ratio was calculated using the regulatory capital
methodology, effective for PNC Financial on Jan 1, 2014 with 2014
phase-ins, which came in at 10.8%.
This improvement came on the back of growth in retained earnings
along with higher accumulated other comprehensive income,
partially offset by elevated risk-weighted assets. Further, Tier
1 risk-based capital ratio was 12.5%, while leverage ratio was
As of Mar 31, 2014, total assets under administration were $255
billion, up 8.1% from the prior-year quarter. Total loans were
$198.2 billion, up 6% year over year. Further, total deposits
increased 5% from the prior-year quarter to $222.4 billion.
We believe that PNC Financial is well positioned to grow, given
its diverse revenue mix, expense control measures, balance sheet
strengthening efforts, improving credit quality, strategic
acquisitions and steady capital levels. An increase in lending
activities augurs well for the company. Moreover, the company's
capital deployment activities are impressive.
However, the top-line headwinds are expected to persist, given
the protracted economic recovery. Also, a low interest-rate
environment would keep PNC Financial's margins under pressure.
PNC Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Performance of other Major Banks
Following a disappointing second-half 2013,
) reported impressive first-quarter 2014 results. Driven by
prudent expense management, earnings per share came in at $1.30,
outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.18. Moreover,
earnings surpassed the prior-year period earnings by a penny.
Notably, results in the reported quarter were impacted by credit
valuation adjustment (CVA) and debt valuation adjustment (DVA).
Including CVA/DVA and the impact of tax charge associated with
corporate tax reforms enacted in two states in the reported
quarter, Citigroup reported net income of $3.9 billion or $1.23
per share compared with $3.8 billion or $1.23 per share in the
Among other major regional banks,
Fifth Third Bancorp
) is scheduled to report on Apr 17, while
State Street Corp.
) will report on Apr 25.