PNC reports 26% decline in 4Q profit

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Jan. 20 at 9:53 a.m.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit dropped 26 percent after a big year-earlier gain, but adjusted earnings topped analysts’ expectations as revenue fell less than expected.

The bank continued to bolster its bottom line by setting aside less to cover potential loan losses. Many peers have also made that move amid improving credit quality. PNC grew during the banking crisis by purchasing troubled rivals — such as its acquisition of Ohio’s National City in late 2008 for $2 billion.

In the latest quarter, credit-loss provisions were $442 million, down from $1.05 billion a year earlier and $486 million the previous quarter.

PNC reported a profit of $820 million, or $1.50 a share, down from $1.11 billion, or $2.17 a share, a year earlier. Excluding integration costs in both periods and a prior-year gain related to the BlackRock Inc.  acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, earnings jumped to $1.60 from 90 cents.

Revenue fell 20 percent, to $3.9 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of $1.38 on $3.55 billion in revenue.

The corporate and institutional banking business, the biggest bottom-line contributor, saw profit rise 30 percent as the retail-banking segment swung to the black.

Shares were down 1.75 percent, to $60.73, in morning trading.

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