BB&T Misses on Earnings but Remains Strong Elsewhere

BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT  ) reported earnings for its third quarter this morning, and a slight miss on EPS expectations prompted a small sell-off early this morning. With analysts expecting $0.71 in earnings per share, the bank checked in at $0.66, in part because of merger-related charges associated with its acquisition of BankAtlantic (NASDAQ: BBXT  ) . Nevertheless, net income is up 57% year to date compared to the first nine months of last year, and the bank looks poised for strong performance in the quarters to follow.

What I was watching
In addition to the standard metrics referenced above, I was also watching for continued improvement in the bank's tier 1 capital ratio and the percentage of nonperforming loans. Last quarter, these numbers were 10.2% and 1.5%, respectively, and they have some room for improvement. With a reported tier 1 capital ratio of 10.9%, loan quality has improved significantly at the bank. This is further evidenced by the 1.35% of total assets that are currently deemed nonperforming loans. With improving numbers like this, it is easy to see how BB&T managed to pass the Fed stress test in March, something Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) failed to do.

What to expect going forward
With BB&T among regional banks stepping up mortgage lending nationwide, the future is bright for this stellar regional bank. Total loans were up again this quarter, with a increasing by 12.6% on an annualized basis as compared to the second quarter. If anything, the bank is still cheap according to its Graham number valuation, so it could be an attractive option if you are looking for a smaller bank in which to invest.

BB&T doesn't get talked about nearly enough, which is pretty sad, in my opinion. Bank of America takes the cake as the most talked-about bank out there. You can learn more about it by checking out our in-depth company report on the largest bank in the country. The report details Bank of America's prospects, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.

Robert Eberhard has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Follow him on Twitter and watch as he tries to navigate the social media super highway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Citigroup Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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