Wilmington Trust Corp.'s shares fell Friday on worries about fee income and revenue growth in its second-quarter earnings report, but one analyst said the fears were off the mark.
"This is a company with a history of strong asset quality and this track record continues," said Cassandra Toroian of Ryan, Beck & Co. as shares slipped 1.85%, to $56.75. "Wilmington Trust had another solid quarter, both in terms of traditional commercial banking and trust business."
The second quarter featured overall trust and management fees of $36 million and 12% annualized loan portfolio growth, both healthy signs, Ms. Toroian said.
Wilmington Trust is also expanding into southeastern Pennsylvania, with about two-thirds of its commercial loans now coming from the state, Ms. Toroian said.
After being panned by analysts early last week on slower revenue growth, State Street Corp. of Boston got a vote of confidence from Jacqueline Reeves, a banking analyst at Putnam, Lovell, de Guardiola & Thornton Inc.
Ms. Reeves upgraded shares, which had fallen 13%, to a "buy" from a "hold," saying core asset management and institutional investor businesses "are producing outstanding growth."
State Street shares closed at $74.50, up 1.71%.
Though a nonrecurring gain spooked the market when the company reported second-quarter earnings, Ms. Reeves said, a number of key areas were up, including asset management, 18%, overseas assets under management, 38%, and servicing and processing revenue, 40%.
Shares of First Union Corp. were up 1.71%, to $48.375, as the company met expectations that had been slashed in the spring, when the Charlotte, N.C., banking company said it would not beat Wall Street's initial expectations.
As in the first quarter, capital management set records in most key areas, led by brokerage.
But if First Union is to post management's target of 20% of annual growth, "the business must outperform the previous two quarters-a more difficult challenge," said Peter Kuper, a banking analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.
Mr. Kuper also noted that some of the key levers to help smooth bumps in performance have already been exhausted, "including shares repurchases and balance sheet leverage given the equity to assets condition."
Investors will demand quality earnings from the company and analysts "will appreciate the recent clearer guidance on business line expectations."
Shares of Old Kent Financial were up 3.87%, to $43.5625, on positive earnings and favorable comments by William Katz, a banking analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co.
"Several key elements are coming together, resulting in earnings-per- share momentum," Mr. Katz said.
He noted a rebound in the net interest margin, accelerating loan growth, improving core banking efficiency, and improving asset quality after significant pruning over the past 24 months.