A tax charge slashed BB&T's (BBT) first-quarter profit in half.

The Winston-Salem, N.C., company announced Thursday that it earned $210 million in the first quarter, compared with $431 million a year earlier, as it took a $281 million charge related to a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. Per-share earnings of 29 cents were 2 cents below the expectation of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

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