published Friday, April 19th, 2013

Bank earnings post sharp increases

Bank earnings jumped in the first quarter of 2013, with both First Tennessee and Suntrust Bank reporting sharp increases in profitability.

Atlanta-based Suntrust said today it earned $340 million, or 63 cents per share, compared to 46 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012, according to a news release.

“First quarter 2013 earnings were notably higher than last year,” said William Rogers, chairman and CEO of Suntrust. “Our expenses declined meaningfully, not only related to the continued abatement of cyclically high costs, but also as a direct result of our concerted efforts to improve our eficiency.”

Earnings at First Horizon, the holding company of First Tennessee, shot up 42 percent in the quarter from the same quarter in 2012. The bank earned 41 million, or 17 cents per share during the quarter, compred to 30 million, or 12 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

First Tennessee’s bankers grew the average loan size up 6 percent, grew deposits by 4 percent, and reduced expenses by 8 percent.

Some of the drop in expenses stemmed from a voluntary separation program and pension changes, the company said today.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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