The $553 billion asset U.S. Bancorp (USB 1.30%) delivered earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 that met analysts' profit estimates, but missed on revenue expectations.

The bank reported net income of $1.5 billion in the quarter, or $0.95 diluted earnings per common share, which is up from the fourth quarter of 2019 and essentially almost exactly what analysts were projecting.

Revenue at the bank came in at nearly $5.8 billion, missing just slightly on expectations. For the full year 2020, U.S. Bancorp reported net income of nearly $5 billion, down nearly 28% from 2019, on total revenue of $23.3 billion.

The exterior of a U.S. Bank branch

Image source: U.S. Bancorp.

Both full-year earnings and revenue in 2020 slightly beat out average analyst estimates.

"Our fourth quarter and full year results highlighted the value of our diversified business model, which allowed us to deliver industry leading results for our shareholders despite the economic headwinds the entire banking industry faced," U.S. Bancorp President and CEO Andrew Cecere said in a statement.

Net interest income in the quarter declined slightly as the net interest margin also continued to face pressure, dropping another 10 basis points (0.10%) from the third quarter of 2020 and settling at 2.57%.

Non-interest income also declined compared to the third quarter, but was still up from the fourth quarter of 2019. 

For the first time in 2020, U.S. Bancorp did not build reserves in the fourth quarter to prepare for more loan losses, and reported a provision for credit losses more in line with the fourth quarter of 2019, albeit higher.

Net charge-offs (debt unlikely to be collected) dropped from the linked quarter and non-performing assets remained stable, only rising slightly from the linked third quarter of 2020.