SunTrust Banks Inc.
) fourth quarter earnings came in at 28 cents per share, surpassing
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. This represents SunTrust's
sixth straight quarter of profit after incurring significant losses
since mid 2008. This was also substantially better than earnings of
23 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Despite the weakness in the wider economy and pressures on the
sector, results for the reported quarter benefited from a
substantial decline in provision for credit losses, higher interest
income and stable non-interest expenses. Improvement in credit
quality was also impressive. However, a substantially lower
non-interest income and sluggish loan growth were the
SunTrust's net income came in at $155 million, compared with
$215 million in the prior quarter and $185 million in the
For the full year 2011, the company reported earnings of $1.09
per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, this
compares favorably with the loss of 18 cents in the previous
Quarter in Detail
SunTrust's total revenue on a fully taxable-equivalent basis was
$2.0 billion, down 7% sequentially but down 12% year over year.
This compares with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.1 billion.
The sequential decrease can be traced back to a higher mortgage
repurchase provision, a mortgage servicing rights valuation
adjustment and lower card fee income, partially offset by higher
net interest income.
Fully taxable-equivalent revenue for the full year was $8.6
billion, down 1% from $8.7 billion in the previous year. The Zacks
Consensus Estimate for the full year was $8.5 billion.
Net interest income (
) was up 2% both sequentially as well as year over year at $1.3
billion. The increase was driven by lower deposit costs as a result
of the continued favorable shift in the deposit mix toward low-cost
Net interest margin (
) was down 3 basis points (bps) sequentially but up 2 bps year over
year at 3.46%. The sequential decline was due to lower earning
asset yields, partially offset by lower rates on interest-bearing
Non-interest income was $723 million, down 20% from the prior
quarter and 30% from the prior-year quarter. Both sequential and
year-over-year decline was due to an increase in the mortgage
repurchase provision, as well as a mortgage servicing rights
Non-interest expense for the quarter came in at $1.5 billion,
down 1% from the prior quarter but flat compared with the
prior-year quarter. On a sequential basis, lower employee
compensation and benefits expense was offset by increases in
credit-related expenses, legal accruals and severance expense.
SunTrust's efficiency ratio increased to 75.59% from 71.05% in
the prior quarter and 66.57% in the prior-year quarter.
Credit quality continued to improve during the quarter, with 6%
sequential and 36% year-over-year declines in provision for credit
losses to $327 million.
Nonperforming loans dropped 39 bps sequentially and 117 bps year
over year to 2.37% of total loans. Also, net charge-offs fell 12
bps from the prior quarter and 57 bps from the year-ago quarter to
1.57% of annualized average loans.
SunTrust's capital ratios remained weak during the reported
quarter, with Tier 1 capital ratio of 10.95% (down 15 bps from the
prior quarter and 272 bps from the prior-year quarter) and tangible
equity to tangible asset ratio of 8.14% (down 24 bps sequentially
and 198 bps year over year). However, capital ratios remained well
above the current regulatory requirements as well as the Basel III
Performance of Competitor
SunTrust's close competitor,
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
) fourth-quarter 2011 earnings substantially missed the Zacks
Consensus Estimate. Although results for the quarter benefited from
higher interest income and lower operating expenses, these
positives were more than offset by reduction in fee revenue and
decline in net interest margin. However, the company's asset
quality showed improvement and capital ratios remained strong.
We remain concerned about SunTrust's significant exposure to
risky assets, a slow economic recovery and new regulatory
headwinds. Moreover, a limited margin improvement would keep its
top-line under pressure. However, improved average client deposits,
strong credit quality and favorable deposit mix continue to raise
our hopes for improved results.
SunTrust currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates
into a short-term 'Hold' rating.
BANK OF NY MELL (
): Free Stock Analysis Report
SUNTRUST BKS (
): Free Stock Analysis Report
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