SunTrust cuts way to increased profits

SunTrust cuts way to increased profits

April 20th, 2013 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

The Suntrust Bank building in downtown Chattanooga.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

SunTrust Banks on Friday reported a first-quarter jump in income to $340 million, or 63 cents per share, up from 46 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012.

The bank's increased profitability was mainly from large-scale cost-cutting, as revenue fell during the quarter.

"First-quarter 2013 earnings were notably higher than last year," said William Rogers, chairman and CEO of SunTrust. "Our expenses declined meaningfully, not only related to the continued abatement of cyclically high costs, but also as a direct result of our concerted efforts to improve our eficiency."

While revenue and net interest income at SunTrust decreased 4 percent from the first quarter of 2012, the bank was still able to grow earnings, in part, by cutting expenses by 12 percent over the same period -- the lowest level in three years. Total revenue was $2.1 billion, a decrease of $177 million.

Average loans decreased 1 percent, which the bank said were related to declines in residential real estate and government-guaranteed student loans, offset by growth in commercial and industrial loans. Deposits increased by 1 percent.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfree or 423-757-6315.