BBVA Compass' Profits Fall Despite Loan Growth, Expense Cuts

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BBVA Compass reported a 28% drop in profits in the fourth quarter from the same period in 2012, to $68.8 million, as revenue, interest income and noninterest income all declined.

Earnings also suffered from a sharply higher loan-loss provision year over year and a $1.7 million loss on the sale of investment securities, compared to a gain on sale of $4.9 million a year earlier.

Based in Houston, the $72.1 billion-asset BBVA Compass is the U.S. banking subsidiary of Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

Despite a 12% increase total in loans year over year, BBVA Compass reported Tuesday that its net interest income fell 14%, to $507.5 million, as yields on loans fell. Noninterest income fell 4% year over year, to $191 million, due primarily to a 13% decline on fees from deposit service charges and a 92% decline in commissions from insurance sales.

The bank's noninterest expense fell 11% from a year earlier, due primarily to what it said was a 28% decline in its Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. indemnification expense, a 34% decline in amortization of intangibles and a 24% drop in other expenses.

Credit quality also improved substantially, as total nonperforming assets fell nearly 20% year over year, to $552 million.

For the full year, the company said that earnings fell 12%, to $417.8 million.

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