Friday, April 16, 2004

Other banks fare well in 1st quarter

From staff and wire reports

Two other Ohio banks, KeyCorp of Cleveland and Huntington Bancshares Inc. of Columbus, reported strong first-quarter earnings Thursday, while the Bank of Kentucky benefited from loan growth.

KeyCorp's earnings of 59 cents a share was up from $217 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. That's higher than the 53-cent-a-share average estimate of analysts.

KeyCorp, led by CEO Henry Meyer, said its consumer banking division earned $109 million, up 9 percent from a year earlier as bad loans and costs decreased. Net income from investment management doubled to $32 million in the quarter.

The bank's net interest margin was 3.74 percent, down from 3.78 percent. KeyCorp operates 23 branches in Greater Cincinnati.

Huntington, a $31 billion bank holding company with 30 branches in Greater Cincinnati, said profits rose 14 percent in the first quarter, helped by strong loan and lease growth and stable core deposits.

Earnings for the quarter ended March 31 were $104.2 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with $91.7 million, or 39 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 40 cents a share.

Average loans and leases increased $2.6 billion, or 14 percent, from the 2003 first quarter mainly because of an increase in average consumer loans.

Huntington also on Thursday updated its 2004 outlook, saying it now expects its earnings per share to be $1.71 to $1.75, excluding the impact of its merger with Unizan Financial Corp.

Loan growth helped the parent of the Bank of Kentucky post a 4 percent rise in first-quarter profits. The Crestview Hills-based Bank of Kentucky Financial Corp. earned $2.3 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $2.2 million, or 37 cents a share, during last year's first quarter. The gain came as the bank's loans outstanding grew by 11 percent in the quarter.

With assets of $819 million, the Bank of Kentucky operates 25 branches in Northern Kentucky.

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