Comerica Reports Q4 EPS $0.48 vs $0.48 Est
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) today reported fourth quarter 2011 net income of $96 million, a decrease of $2 million compared to $98 million for the third quarter 2011. Fourth quarter 2011 included merger and restructuring charges of $37 million ($23 million, after tax; $0.12 per diluted share) associated with the acquisition of Sterling Bancshares, Inc. (Sterling), completed on July 28, 2011, compared to $33 million ($21 million, after tax; $0.11 per diluted share) in the third quarter 2011.
"We were pleased to see total loan growth of $1.5 billion, or 4 percent, on a period-end basis," said Ralph W. Babb Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. "The growth was driven by a $1.9 billion, or 8 percent, increase in commercial loans, particularly in National Dealer Services, Mortgage Banker Finance, Energy Lending, Technology and Life Sciences, and Global Corporate Banking.
"We had record deposit levels of $47.8 billion at year-end, an increase of $303 million from the third quarter. In addition, our net interest income increased $21 million, or 5 percent, primarily driven by an increase in average earning assets. We continue to be pleased by the broad-based improvement in credit quality, which resulted in a decrease in the provision for loan losses."
"With respect to our acquisition of Sterling, we announced the successful completion of systems integrations and the opening of former Sterling branches as Comerica banking centers on November 14, 2011," said Babb. "All former Sterling customers can now bank at any Comerica banking center, with complete access to our full line of extended product and service offerings. This acquisition continues to be a great fit, as the former Sterling's size, geographic footprint and customer focus uniquely fits our strategy and expands our presence in Texas.
"In the fourth quarter, we repurchased 1.6 million shares, and repurchased a total of 4.1 million shares in 2011 under the share repurchase program. Combined with dividends, this resulted in a total return to shareholders of 47 percent of net income. We continue to be an active capital manager and believe we are approaching capital management from a position of strength. As required, we submitted our Capital Plan to the Federal Reserve on January 9, 2012. As previously announced, we are targeting a first quarter 2012 total payout ratio of up to 50 percent of net income through the share repurchase program and dividends."
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