Regional banks report strong 4Q results

Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. and Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp today both reported fourth quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Northern Trust reported fourth quarter net income of $244 million, or 98 cents per share, up from $169.7 million, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The increase in net income was partially attributed to a $9.5 million income tax benefit that resulted from the company’s decision to reinvest the pre-tax earnings of a foreign subsidiary outside the U.S. indefinitely.

Fourth quarter revenue was $1.1 billion, up from $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

For the full year, Northern Trust reported net income of $811.8 million, or $3.32 per share, up from $731.3 million, or $2.99 per share, in 2013.

Northern Trust’s 2014 revenue was $4.3 billion, up from $4.1 billion in 2013.

U.S. Bancorp reported fourth quarter net income of $1.5 billion, or 79 cents per share, up from $1.47 billion, or 76 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The company attributed the net income increase to higher net interest income and fee-based revenue, as well as a gain related to an equity interest.

Fourth quarter revenue was $5.2 billion, up from $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“We maintained our industry-leading performance measures, including return on average assets of 1.54 percent, return on average common equity of 14.7 percent, and an efficiency ratio of 53.2 percent for the full year of 2014,” said Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

For the full year, U.S. Bancorp reported net income of $5.9 billion, or $3.08 per share, up from $5.7 billion, or $3 per share, in 2013.

U.S. Bancorp’s 2014 revenue was $20.2 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2013.

The company has also named Andrew Cecere to vice chairman and chief operating officer. The position had been unfilled since Richard Davis became chief executive officer in 2006. Kathy Ashcraft Rogers will succeed him as vice chairman and chief financial officer.

Cecere’s base salary will increase to $750,000, with eligibility for an annual bonus of 150 percent of his base salary. He has also received $5 million in annual long-term equity awards, 75 percent of which will be in the form of performance-based restricted stock units, and 25 percent of which will be in the form of nonqualified stock options.

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