Regional banking company KeyCorp reported a 12 percent increase in first-quarter earnings Thursday as asset quality improved, more loans were made and charge-offs for bad loans decreased.
Cleveland-based KeyCorp said net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $194 million, or 20 cents per share, for the period ended March 31, up from $173 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding charges, KeyCorp earned 21 cents per share. That beat average Wall Street estimates by 2 cents per share, according to a survey by FactSet.
The company said nonperforming loans declined $322 million from a year ago and net charge-offs declined to $101 million from $193 million a year ago. New or renewed lending commitments to consumers and businesses rose to $8.3 billion from $6.9 billion.
Noninterest income from continuing operations rose to $472 million from $457 million in the first quarter of 2011, helped by the early end of a leveraged equipment lease.
Interest income dipped to $559 million from $604 million in the year-ago quarter, due in part to pressures from a low-rate environment.
"Key's first quarter results demonstrate continued positive momentum as we execute on our relationship strategy, strengthen our balance sheet and maintain disciplined expense control," said Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney.
KeyCorp shares fell 13 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $7.86 in morning trading Thursday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $5.59 to $8.84.