Three Regionals to Kick off Busy Week of Annual Meetings

By Davis, Paul | American Banker, April 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

Three Regionals to Kick off Busy Week of Annual Meetings


Davis, Paul, American Banker


Byline: Paul Davis

A trio of regional banking heavyweights is set to hold annual meetings on Tuesday, with say on pay serving as the main attraction.

SunTrust Banks (STI), BB&T (BBT) and PNC (PNC) will all gather shareholders together in their respective hometowns. PNC and SunTrust are scheduled to webcast their meetings.

BB&T is holding its annual meeting at the Embassy Suites in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C. PNC shareholders will gather at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh. SunTrust will host investors at the SunTrust Plaza Garden Offices in Atlanta.

Tuesday will mark the first annual meeting for William H. Rogers Jr. as chairman and chief executive of $178 billion-asset SunTrust. Rogers, who succeeded James Wells 3rd last year, leads a company that has been plagued by credit problems in its mortgage portfolio in recent years.

SunTrust has been hammered by its exposure to the battered Florida real estate market. In the fourth quarter, the company's provision to cover potential repurchase requests on mortgages jumped 84% from a quarter earlier, to about $215 million. The company warned in January that repurchase requests are likely to continue to cause pain in future quarters.

Still, the company showed resilience in the first quarter. On Monday it may have caught a break after reporting a strong first quarter, with earnings jumping 39% from a year earlier, to $245 million, on solid revenue growth and a big decrease in the loan-loss provision.

Shareholders are apt to ask Rogers to outline plans for sustainable growth. Management should also expect questions about March's stress test results. The Federal Reserve determined that SunTrust would barely fall short of a 5% capital minimum under a hypothetical scenario in which the economy experienced a nosedive.

Kelly King, the chairman and CEO at BB&T, isn't likely to face that kind of pressure. He inherited one of the few regional banking companies that remained profitable during the recession and financial crisis, orchestrated the purchase of the failed Colonial Bank, and had consistently expressed an interest in conservatively expanding in corporate lending and states such as Texas and Florida.

Last week, the $176 billion-asset company reported that its earnings rose 10% from the fourth quarter and nearly doubled from a year earlier, to $431 million. The company also raised its dividend after passing the latest round of governmental stress tests. …

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