WINSTON SALEM The BB&T Corporation reports strong earnings for the first quarter of 2017 noting the earnings were driven by record quarterly reviews and expense control.BB&T released financials noting the net income available to common shareholders was $378 million, down 28.3 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Excluding losses on the pre-tax merger-related and restructuring and charges excess tax benefits from equity-based compensation plans, net income available to common shareholders was $611 million, or $0.74 per diluted share.Net income available to common shareholders was $592 million ($0.72 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter of 2016 and $527 million ($0.67 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2016.”We are pleased to report strong earnings for the first quarter,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King. “During the quarter, we terminated $2.9 billion of higher-cost FHLB advances, resulting in a pre-tax loss on early extinguishment of $392 million, or $0.30 per diluted share. This strategic action lowers our future borrowing costs and provides a boost to future margins and earnings.”Taxable-equivalent revenues were a record $2.8 billion, up 9.1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016,” King said. “Net interest income was up $81 million and noninterest income was up $155 million from last year as we continue to capitalize on our acquisitions. In addition, revenues were up 7.6 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2016.”Expenses were $2.1 billion and included over $400 million in debt extinguishment and merger-related and restructuring charges,” King said. “Excluding these items, our adjusted efficiency ratio is at its lowest level since 2014, reflecting strong expense control, leverage from our acquisitions and excellent asset quality.”Though BB&T is pleased with earnings, King shared with financial analysts the projected closing of approximately 100 branches this year as part of the company’s emphasis of a digital platform, U by BB&T, in addition to the consolidation of teller and banker roles in more branches.Currently, BB&T has 2,193 branches and reports 60 percent of customers are actively using the digital platform for transactions.
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