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BB&T Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 29% on Gains in Fee Revenue

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) --BB&T Corp., North Carolina’s second-largest bank, said fourth-quarter profit rose 29 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, as revenue from fees increased.

Net income climbed to $506 million, or 71 cents a share, from $391 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier, the Winston-Salem-based bank said today in a statement. That compares with the 70-cent average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Full-year profit increased 49 percent to $1.9 billion, or $2.70 a share.

Chief Executive Officer Kelly King said at a financial services conference on Dec. 5 that he expects the bank’s mortgage business will remain “pretty strong” in the first half of 2013.

“It was a really good quarter, a great year” King, 64, said on a conference call after earnings were announced. “We have some reservations about the economy but relative to that we feel very bullish about our business going forward.”

BB&T rose 1.8 percent, to $30.86 at 10:15 a.m. in New York. The shares gained 11 percent in the past year through yesterday, compared with a 25 percent advance by the 80-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index.

Non-interest revenue rose 11 percent to $1.02 billion from a year earlier, driven by increases in mortgage banking, insurance and brokerage fees. Net interest income advanced 1.6 percent to $1.51 billion from a year earlier.

Net interest margin, the difference between what a bank pays on deposits and what it charges for loans, narrowed to 3.84 percent from 4.02 percent a year earlier.

“The real estate market overall is clearly improving,” Kelly said. “As time goes on, people kind of get tired of feeling bad and start turning little positive.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in New York at edexheimer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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