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Huntington Bancshares reports record annual earnings

COLUMBUS — Huntington Bancshares has reported 2019 full-year net income of $1.4 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.

Earnings per common share for the year were $1.27, up 6 percent from the prior year. Tangible book value per common share as of 2019 year-end was $8.25, a 12 percent year-over-year increase. Return on average assets for 2019 was 1.31 percent, return on average common equity was 12.9 percent, and return on average tangible common equity was 16.9 percent.

Net income for the 2019 fourth quarter was $317 million, a 5 percent decrease from the year-ago quarter. Earnings per common share for the 2019 fourth quarter were $0.28, down 3 percent from the year-ago quarter. Return on average assets for the 2019 fourth quarter was 1.15 percent, return on average common equity was 11.1 percent, and return on average tangible common equity was 14.3 percent.

“We are pleased with our 2019 results, which included record net income for the fifth consecutive year and annual positive operating leverage on an adjusted basis for the seventh consecutive year,” said Steve Steinour, chairman, president, and CEO.

“Total revenue for 2019 increased 3 percent year-over-year driven by fee income growth of 10 percent and organic balance sheet growth. The revenue growth, coupled with our disciplined expense management, allowed for continued investment in technology and our businesses overall,” Steinour said. “Average loans grew 4 percent, balanced between commercial and consumer lending. In the 2019 fourth quarter, we experienced record origination activity in both our home lending and auto finance businesses, while maintaining our underwriting discipline. We remain focused on funding organic loan growth with low-cost core deposits, highlighted by the 5 percent increase in average consumer noninterest-bearing deposits for the 2019 full year.”

While 2019 was a challenging year for the industry, Huntington was not immune, he said.

“We entered the year expecting multiple interest rate increases but instead were impacted by multiple interest rate reductions. There also were elevated levels of macroeconomic uncertainty and significant market volatility. We proactively managed revenue challenges and expense growth, while continuing to invest in our businesses to drive long-term performance,” he said. “We further positioned our expense run-rate and investment capacity for success in 2020 through our fourth quarter actions, including the announced consolidation of 30 in-store branches.”

Local economies are growing and the expectation for 2020 is for continued expansion, Steinour said. Consumer lending should fuel growth in the coming year, he said.

“Our commercial customers are performing well, and we are seeing success in our strategies, though volatility and uncertainty are restraining overall commercial loan growth,” Steinour said. “The momentum across our businesses and focused execution, augmented by the actions taken in 2019, set us up well entering 2020.”

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