CIT Group’s first-quarter profit improved as the Livingston, N.J., company benefited from CEO Ellen Alemany’s ongoing effort to shed businesses and simplify the balance sheet.
Net income at the $63 billion-asset company rose 23% to $179.9 million from a year earlier. Its earnings per share of 88 cents came in 15 cents above the average estimate of analysts compiled by FactSet Research Systems.
The results included $101.7 million from discontinued operations, which contributed 55 cents to earnings per share. The discontinued operations items included $34 million in costs to extinguish secured debt; and $13 million from a gain on CIT’s sale of its 30% stake in TC-CIT Aviation, a commercial aircraft leasing joint venture.
Discontinued operations also included a $69 million benefit from suspended depreciation benefits from its Commercial Air business. On April 4 CIT sold its Commercial Air business to Avolon Holdings for $10.4 billion.
“We remain committed to maintaining a strong balance sheet while making further progress on our strategic priorities, including building on our strengths in the commercial and consumer banking franchises,” Alemany said in a news release.
Net interest revenue rose 22% to $242.9 million as the loan-loss provision was nearly halved to about $50 million. Total loans fell 4% to $29 billion.
Noninterest income fell 7% to $79.1 million on lower fee revenue and due to losses on derivatives and foreign currency exchange.
Noninterest expenses declined 5% to $312 million on lower salaries and benefits and other cost-cutting projects.