KeyCorp reports strong C&I lending, profit growth

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Commercial and industrial lending and investment banking were among the standouts for KeyCorp, whose profits soared in the third quarter.

Net income for the $137.9 billion-asset KeyCorp increased 34% to $468 million. Earnings per share beat the mean estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research Systems by 1 cent, coming in at 45 cents.

"Our solid third quarter results reflect our success in growing and expanding client relationships, driving efficiency across the organization, and staying true to our moderate risk profile,” Beth Mooney, the Cleveland company's chairman and CEO, said in a press release Thursday.

Total loans rose 1.9% to $88.5 billion. Commercial and industrial loan growth led the way, expanding 8% to $44.7 billion. Other commercial loans declined 5% to $20.5 billion, and home equity loans fell about 7% to $11.4 billion. Other consumer loans increased 3% to $11.8 billion.

Net interest income increased 3.2% to $993 million, and the net interest margin widened 3 basis points to 3.18%.

Total revenues grew 3% to $1.6 billion. Revenues from the community banking segment increased about 5% to $994 million, and revenues from corporate banking unit expanded about 2% to $574 million.

Total deposits rose 2.4% to $105.6 billion.

Noninterest income grew 2.9% to $609 million. Investment banking and debt placement fees increased 17.7% to $166 million, which the company credited to its 2017 acquisition of the boutique investment firm Cain Brothers. This was partially offset by a 13.3% decline in trust and investment services income, which totaled $117 million, the result of its second-quarter sale of Key Insurance & Benefits.

Key trimmed noninterest expenses by 2.8% to $964 million. Personnel expenses ticked down 1% to $553 million, and other noninterest expenses declined 5% to $411 million. Key said spending associated with the growth of its Cain Brothers franchise and other investments cut into cost savings initiatives across the company.

The company improved its efficiency ratio to 58.7% from 62.2% a year earlier.

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