PNC Financial profits, revenue climb in third quarter

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PNC Financial Services Group, Pittsburgh's biggest bank, saw profits for the third quarter rise 6 percent to $876 million, from $826 million in the same quarter last year, on revenue that climbed 15 percent to $4.09 billion, up from $3.54 billion.

Per-share profits rose to $1.64 from $1.55.

"Clearly 2012 is shaping up to be another strong year for PNC," CEO James Rohr said during a conference call with analysts Tuesday.

Results in the most recent period were aided by an after-tax gain of $89 million, or 17 cents per share, on the sale of a portion of PNC's stake in the Visa credit card network.

Revenue was boosted by PNC's acquisition in March of RBC Bank and its roughly 400 branches in the Southeast.

Loan volume grew in the third quarter but at a slower pace than in the second quarter, Mr. Rohr said.

He said the bank was planning for "very modest" economic growth next year.

Business owners, worried about increased taxes, rising health care costs and overall economic uncertainty are not "plunking down a lot of dough to expand their business and build plants and hire a lot of people," Mr. Rohr said.

"There is so much money sitting on the sidelines -- not just large companies, small companies have a lot of cash -- there could be a nice lift if we could build confidence back into the economy."

PNC set aside $37 million in the third quarter to cover possible mortgage repurchase requests, a big drop from the $438 million set aside in the second quarter.

Government-sponsored mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been demanding that lenders repurchase problem mortgages after questioning property values and the accuracy of appraisals.

PNC's shares lost $2.53 Tuesday, or 4 percent, to close at $60.40. Analysts said investors were concerned about revenue pressures going forward.

businessnews

Patricia Sabatini: psabatini@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3066.


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