M&T Bank Corp.'s profit rises 19% to $186 million in 3rd quarter

Earnings per share grow 22% to $1.56 from $1.28

October 13, 2004|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

M&T Bank Corp.'s profit rose 19 percent in the third quarter, driven by an increase in credit-related fees and less money set aside for problem loans, the company said yesterday.

The Buffalo, N.Y., banking company, which acquired Baltimore's Allfirst Financial Inc. in April last year, made $186 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared with $156 million in last year's third quarter. Diluted earnings per share rose 22 percent to $1.56, compared with $1.28 in the quarter a year ago, the company said.

The results beat Wall Street estimates by 5 cents a share, according to Nelson Information/Thomson Financial, which tallied the estimates of 11 analysts who follow the company.

M&T's shares, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange, rose $1.87, or nearly 2 percent, to $101.70 on a day when the stock market was flat.

Michael P. Pinto, M&T's chief financial officer, said the performance was "strong and generally in line with our expectations."

"Overall credit quality indicators, including the levels of net charge-offs and nonperforming loans, were favorable, and the loan portfolio grew during the quarter at a steady pace," Pinto said.

Donald MacLeod, director of M&T's investor relations, said some of the strongest loan growth was in the Maryland region, where the company has about 2,679 employees and 149 branches.

"We are generally pleased with what we saw," MacLeod said.

For the first nine months of the year, M&T's profit rose 30 percent to $530 million, up from $407 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share were up 22 percent to $4.39, compared with $3.59 in the period that ended Sept. 30, 2003.

M&T, which had $52.9 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, said its provision for credit losses was $17 million in the quarter, down 50 percent from a year earlier. Non-interest income - revenue from deposit account service charges, trust income and other fees - rose 6 percent in the quarter to $245 million.

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