By Dave Sebastian
Fifth Third Bancorp said its profit rose for the first quarter as it booked a benefit from credit losses.
The Cincinnati-based lender Tuesday posted net income of $694 million, compared with $46 million a year earlier. Earnings were 93 cents a share, compared with four cents a share.
Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting 69 cents a share.
Benefit from credit losses were $173 million, compared with a provision for credit losses of $640 million a year earlier, it said. The resulting reserve coverage reflects a better macroeconomic environment and strong credit results, the company said.
Net interest income was $1.18 billion, compared with $1.23 billion. Noninterest income rose to $749 million from $671 million a year earlier, it said.
The company's net charge-off ratio was 0.27%, compared with 0.44%, it said.
"I am optimistic that we will continue to benefit from an improving economic environment, including higher interest rates, as well as a more vibrant economy over the next year within most of our commercial franchise and throughout our retail footprint," Chairman and Chief Executive Greg Carmichael said.
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