SunTrust Banks (STI) in Atlanta reported higher second-quarter earnings that reflected the elimination of more than 2,000 positions in the past year.

The $172 billion-asset company's earnings available to common shareholders rose 35% from a year earlier, to $365 million. Revenue, however, fell 6.5% from a year earlier, to $2.1 billion.

Cost control played a major role in the results. Noninterest expenses fell nearly 10% from the second quarter of 2012, to $1.4 billion. In the past year, SunTrust reduced headcount by 2,125 employees, or 8%, contributing to a 3.3% decline in compensation from a year earlier. The company also said that costs tied to disposing foreclosed properties had declined.

Net interest income fell 5% from a year earlier, to $1.24 billion. Total loans decreased by 2% from the second quarter of 2012, to $122 billion, and the net interest margin compressed by 14 basis points, to 3.25%. Better credit helped offset those setbacks; the loan-loss provision fell 51% from a year earlier, to $146 million.

Noninterest expense decreased by 9% from a year earlier, to $858 million. The company reported declines in mortgage-related income and trading income.

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