U.S. Bancorp Earnings Hit Record High, Helped by Rates

By Christina Rexrode Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. Bancorp, the biggest so-called regional bank in the U.S., said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit rose to a record level, helped by higher interest rates.

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The Minneapolis-based bank reported net income of $1.56 billion, or 88 cents a share. That compared with $1.50 billion, or 84 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected 88 cents a share.

Revenue rose 4% from a year ago to $5.61 billion. That slightly beat the $5.59 billion expected by analysts.

Like some other banks, U.S. Bank has benefited as the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates this year, which allows banks to charge more for loans. The bank's net interest income was up 8% from a year ago.

Average loans were up 3% from a year ago. Consumer loans, including residential mortgage loans and credit card loans, also rose. Commercial loans increased, but commercial mortgages were down.

Lending to businesses has been a key factor that analysts are watching this year at regional banks, the group of firms that are smaller than the big, national banks, yet bigger and broader in reach than community banks. After the Trump election, bankers and investors predicted that lending to businesses would take off, but the growth of such loans has faltered.

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Executives at U.S. Bank and others said last month that was partly because corporate customers were paying off bank loans to instead borrow from the bond market. The bank's quarter-over-quarter loan growth was in line with what executives had predicted last month, though they had lowered their expectations from a previous forecast.

Income from treasury-management fees, trust and investment-management fees and corporate-payment products rose from a year ago.

Shares were unchanged in premarket trading.

Write to Christina Rexrode at christina.rexrode@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 07:50 ET (11:50 GMT)