An important milestone reached at Citizens Financial

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Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., says it has hit an important milestone that it had set for itself during its initial public offering three years ago.

The $151.4 billion-asset Citizens reached 10% return on tangible common equity, CEO Bruce Van Saun said in a news release Friday.

“Our leadership team has demonstrated a consistent ability to execute well through varying market conditions, delivering improved shareholder returns as we continue to run the bank better,” he said.

Citizens reported net income of $348 million in the third quarter, up 17% from a year earlier. Earnings per share were 68 cents, 4 cents better than the median of analysts' estimates compiled by FactSet Research Systems.

Total revenues increased 5% to $1.4 billion.

Total loans in Citizens’ consumer banking segment increased 6% to $58.7 billion, while loans in its commercial banking segment rose 5% to $48.7 billion.

The net interest margin expanded 21 basis points to 3.05%. Net interest income rose 12% to $1.1 billion.

Citizens' provision for loan losses fell 16% to $72 million, reflecting stronger credit quality and lower net chargeoffs. The ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans fell to 0.85% from 1.05%, and net chargeoffs as a percentage of total loans fell to 0.24% from 0.32%.

Noninterest income declined 12% to $381 million, largely because the year-earlier quarter included a net $67 million gain on the sale of a troubled debt restructuring portfolio. Citizens said noninterest income would have increased 4% had that transaction been excluded.

Noninterest expenses declined 1% from last year’s third quarter to $858 million, mainly because the comparable period last year included $36 million in expenses related to that troubled debt restructuring portfolio.

Deposits increased 6% to $113.2 billion.

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