CINCINNATI (AP) — Fifth Third Bancorp reported Thursday its fourth-quarter net income fell 2 percent on lower income from fees and investments and expenses to set aside money for a litigation reserve.
The Cincinnati-based company said its net income fell to $383 million, or 43 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with earnings of $390 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
The results edged out analysts' average forecast for 42 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Fifth Third shares closed at $21.52, down 40 cents. That was close to the high end of their 52-week trading range of $15.43 to $21.96.
Earnings from deposits and loans, or net interest income, rose slightly to $905 million. Earnings from fees and other charges, or noninterest income, fell 20 percent to $703 million.
Fifth Third said overall credit trends were favorable, with fourth-quarter net charge-offs of bad loans at $148 million, down from $109 million in the third quarter and virtually flat with $147 million in the prior-year quarter.
Kevin T. Kabat, Fifth Third's vice chairman and CEO, told analysts in a conference call Thursday that the quarter rounded out a good year for the company despite the low interest rate environment.
"Sources of customer uncertainty related to the economy, budget battles, etc., have diminished, and that makes us hopeful that 2014 will provide a stronger backdrop to economic activity and borrowing than 2013," he said.