US Bancorp: Results go skywards in last quarter

US Bancorp, one of a handful of US regional banks that has expanded during the financial crisis, said yesterday that fourth quarter profit nearly doubled, helped by a rise in fee income.

The bank reported profit of $602m (£370m), or 30 cents per share, up from $330m, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected 29 cents a share.

US Bancorp, among the 10 largest US banks, has so far avoided serious loan losses during the credit crisis because of its conservative underwriting standards.

Even as it reported record fourth quarter revenue of $4.4bn, up from $3.6bn a year earlier, chief executive Richard Davis sounded cautious.

Credit costs remain elevated and continued to have a significant impact on earnings, he said in a statement. The bank set aside $1.39bn for credit losses in the quarter, up from $1.27bn a year earlier but lower than the $1.46bn it put aside in the third quarter.

At a time when other banks are coming under fire for lending less, US Bancorp said it grew its loan portfolio to $191bn in the quarter, up $14.4bn from a year ago.

The bank also benefited as the difference between the rate it paid on deposits and the rate it earned on loans widened over the year.

Shares of US Bancorp fell 13 cents to $24.49 on Tuesday. But yesterday rose 2.1 per cent, or 52 cents, to close at $25.01.