Profit surged at BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., during the fourth quarter, driven by various acquisitions and growth in business lending.
The $219 billion-asset company’s net income rose 18% to $592 million from the same period in 2015. Earnings per share rose 13% to 72 cents. Revenue rose 8% to $2.7 billion.
Last year BB&T bought Susquehanna Bancshares and National Penn Bancshares, both in Pennsylvania, and the insurance broker Swett & Crawford.
The fourth-quarter results also included $34 million in pretax charges to cover securities duration adjustments and hedge ineffectiveness, both caused by an increase in interest rates. BB&T also released $31 million of mortgage-repurchase reserves in the quarter due to lower-than-expected repurchase requests.
Net interest income rose 4.4% to $1.4 billion, in part because of lower interest payments on long-term debt. Total loans and leases held for investment rose 5% to $143 billion. Commercial-and-industrial loans rose 7% to $51 billion. Automobile dealership floor-plan financing rose 17% to $1.4 billion.
Noninterest income rose 15% to $1.2 billion. Insurance income rose 10% to $419 million, partly due to the Swett & Crawford acquisition.
Noninterest expense rose 4% to $1.7 billion as lower merger-related costs were offset by higher personnel expenses. Salaries rose $50 million, primarily due to acquisitions. BB&T also paid $35 million more in incentive compensation. Higher payroll taxes, insurance and pension expenses also contributed an additional $26 million to personnel costs.