PNC fourth-quarter profit up 47 percent over 2011

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PNC Financial Services Group, the Pittsburgh region's biggest bank, this morning reported fourth-quarter profit of $664 million, or $1.24 per share, up 47 percent from $451 million, or 85 cents, a year earlier on revenue that rose 15 percent to $4.07 billion.

Both periods were impacted by special charges.

The bank earned $876 million, or $1.64, in the third quarter of 2012.

In a conference call, CEO James Rohr told analysts the bank was waiting for approval from regulators to raise the common stock dividend.

"We're hopeful we will be able to return some additional capital to shareholders this year," Mr. Rohr said, adding that there would be no stock buybacks as the company seeks to rebuild cash reserves after purchasing the Royal Bank of Canada's U.S. banking operations last year.

For the full year, PNC's profit skidded 6 percent to $2.83 billion, or $5.30 per share, down from $3 billion, or $5.64, in 2011.

Revenue was $15.51 billion, up 8 percent from $14.33 billion the previous year.

"PNC expanded its businesses significantly in 2012" with a major push into markets in the southeast, Mr. Rohr said in a statement.

"While we are pleased with the progress we have made, our financial results do not yet reflect the full potential from our investments."

Last week, PNC disclosed that charges primarily related to its residential mortgage business, including the costs of settling federal complaints about foreclosure abuses, would cut fourth-quarter profit by 47 cents per share.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, special charges knocked back profit by 62 cents per share.

In the final quarter this year, PNC booked an after-tax gain of $85 million, or 16 cents per share, on the sale of a portion of its stake in the Visa Inc. credit card network.

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Patricia Sabatini: psabatini@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3066. First Published January 17, 2013 9:00 AM


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