This week Q1 earnings reporting is in full swing. And many banks continue to lead.
With all eyes on bank health, many of you have asked "Even though my local bank has not failed, do you truly believe there are strong banks out there?" The answer of course is yes. You may remember this list of banks that rejected TARP.
So Monday, while many were busy over-analyzing Bank of America's (BAC) announcement, several smaller banks of note handily beat Wall Street expectations:
1) With a market capitalization of close to $1.7B, BancorpSouth, Inc. (BXS) beat the Street by $0.06 per share. They continued to demonstrate solid profitability with net income of $29.5 million. Aubrey Patterson, Chairman and CEO said, "For the first quarter of 2009, BancorpSouth produced another strong performance in an unusually challenging environment for both the financial services industry and the national economy. This performance was highlighted by solid profitability for the quarter, which contributed to a further improvement in our already strong capital structure. We are encouraged by the steady loan growth we have experienced in a time of increased competition for high quality loans. We also continue to believe that our financial strength and stability, which differentiates us from many industry peers, have contributed to the growth in our loans and deposits."
2) Next Capital City Bank Group, Inc, (CCBG) beat the Street estimate by $0.07 per share turning a profit when the Street expected a loss. The CEO William G Smith reported that, "We grew our loan portfolio by $24 million or 1.2% and maintained our focus on prudently managing the net interest margin, despite historically low interest rates. Our margin at 5.16% was 43 basis points higher than a year ago, and better than the linked fourth quarter. Our execution of the fundamentals of profitable community banking -- basic lending, rational deposit gathering and good expense management -- continues to be both prudent and consistent."
3) And finally, First Defiance Financial Corp. (FDEF) announced a profit of $0.36 per share. Their Chairman William J. Small said, "We're encouraged by the results of our 2009 first quarter, particularly the lower provision for loan losses in this very difficult credit environment. We had very strong mortgage banking activity in the quarter, originating $160 million of residential mortgage loans, which contributed to our improved profitability from the fourth quarter of 2008."
IBM also beat estimates on Monday and more banks will announce earnings throughout the week - perhaps most notable the largely commercial BNY Mellon(BK). When we round up the week, we'll likely note that we still are finding it difficult to substantiate general Q1 earnings bedlam.
When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.