SunTrust Banks Inc STI
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/19/2013

Operator: Welcome to the SunTrust First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants are in a listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session. Today's call is being recorded. If you have any objections, please disconnect at this time.

I will now turn the call over to Kris Dickson, Director of Investor Relations. You may begin.

Kris Dickson - IR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to SunTrust's first quarter earnings conference call. Thanks for joining us. In addition to the press release, we've also provided a presentation that covers the topics we plan to address during our call today. The press release, presentation, and detailed financial schedules are available on our website, This information can be accessed by going to the Investor Relations section of the website.

With me today, among other members of our executive management team, are Bill Rogers, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Aleem Gillani, our Chief Financial Officer; and Tom Freeman, our Chief Risk Officer.

Before we get started, I need to remind you that our comments today may include forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainty and actual results could differ materially. We list the factors that might cause actual results to differ materially in our SEC filings, which are available on our website. During the call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures in talking about the Company's performance. You can find a reconciliation of these measures to GAAP financial measures, in our press release and on our website.

Finally, SunTrust is not responsible for and does not edit nor guarantee the accuracy of our earnings teleconference transcripts provided by third parties. The only authorized live and archived webcasts are located on our website.

With that I'll now turn it over to Bill.

William H. Rogers, Jr. - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, Kris. It's obviously impossible to start today's call without acknowledging the events in Boston and clearly our thoughts and prayers go out to that community this morning. In our usual fashion, I'll begin this morning with a brief overview of the quarter. Then Aleem will provide more details on the results. After that I'll come back to wrap up the call with some perspectives on our business segment performance.

Earnings per share for the quarter was $0.63 up substantially from $0.46 in the first quarter 2012. Highlights of this quarter included a significant reduction in expenses, due to our concerted and ongoing efforts towards driving efficiency improvements, as well as further contraction on cyclically high cost. All told, expenses were down 12% from the first quarter of last year and at their lowest level in three years. As a result, our efficiency ratio improved by 5 percentage points year-over-year. It was also down nearly 1.5 percentage points from the fourth quarter, despite a sequential quarter decline in revenues.

Some of this revenue contraction was due to typical first quarter seasonal impacts and some of it was a result of mortgage revenue normalizing downward from the strong levels experienced last year. Loans and deposits were both relatively stable while credit quality continued to improve with nonperforming loans declining 5% and 45% for the prior quarter and prior year, respectively. The first quarter net charge-off ratio of 76 basis points was at its lowest level in five years.

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