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U.S. Bank profit improves

Weathering the storm during the recession and financial industry crisis, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp’s first quarter profit is up 60.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

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U.S. Bank, which has substantial Wisconsin operations, today reported first quarter net income of $529 million, up 60.3 percent compared to fourth quarter of 2008 net income of $330 million. However, the company’s first quarter profit is still down 51.5 percent to first quarter 2008 net income of $1.09 billion.

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Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were 24 cents, down from 62 cents in the first quarter of 2008, but an improvement from 15 cents in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“I am very proud of U.S. Bancorp’s first quarter results," said chairman, president and CEO Richard K. Davis. "These results clearly demonstrated our company’s ability to produce strong core operating earnings despite a very challenging economic environment. The first quarter 2009 earnings included record total net revenue, aided by record-setting activity in our mortgage banking division, including both loan production and fee revenue. In addition, the company enjoyed a continuing ‘flight to quality’ as evidenced by strong loan and deposit growth over the same quarter of 2008 and the prior quarter. The related growth in net interest income and fees from the business line activities, combined with controlled expense levels in the first quarter, led to positive core operating leverage on a year-over-year and linked quarter basis. Offsetting these positive results were, as expected, higher credit costs and additional market-related write-downs, as well as lower fee revenue in certain line items that are closely linked to the slower economy and current equity market conditions. Overall, however, our results showed the distinct advantage of our company’s diversified revenue stream and mix of businesses. Further, our strong balance sheet growth demonstrated that U.S. Bank remains positioned to respond to the borrowing needs of its customers, thereby supporting the government’s efforts to maintain the flow of credit in this stressful environment."

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