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SunTrust Reports First Quarter Earnings

Company Cites "Another Quarter" of Positive Performance Trends, Good Bottom Line Results

PRNewswire-FirstCall
ATLANTA
Apr 8, 2004

SunTrust Banks, Inc. today reported net income for the first quarter of 2004 of $358.5 million, up 9% from the first quarter of 2003. Net income per diluted share was $1.26, up 8% from the $1.17 per diluted share earned in the first quarter of 2003.

"The first quarter of 2004 was another good one for SunTrust and a positive start to the year," said L. Phillip Humann, SunTrust chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The pattern of positive performance trends that has been steadily picking up steam since the middle of last year is not only continuing, but having an increasingly visible impact on the bottom line."

Mr. Humann cited in particular strong revenue generation, excellent fee income growth, continued net interest margin expansion and effective expense discipline. On the other hand, Mr. Humann noted that "demand for bank loans by large corporate clients remains elusive." Mr. Humann added that SunTrust's first quarter results are supportive of the Company's stated goal of delivering strong, sustainable earnings growth over a multi-year time frame, under different economic scenarios.

For the quarter, reported return on average total assets (ROA) was 1.16%, and return on average total equity (ROE) was 14.65%. Return on average assets less net unrealized gains on securities was 1.19% and return on average realized equity was 17.59% for the quarter. The Company believes ROA and ROE excluding net unrealized gains from the Company's securities portfolio is the more indicative performance measure in this area due to SunTrust's ownership of 48 million shares of The Coca-Cola Company.

Fully taxable net interest income was $863.9 million in the first quarter, up 4% from the first quarter of 2003. The net interest margin for the quarter was 3.13%, up 4 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2003. As expected, the Company was able to restructure and deconsolidate its multi-seller commercial paper conduit, Three Pillars Funding on March 1, 2004. Excluding the impact of Three Pillars Funding, the net interest margin was up 2 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2003.

Average loans for the first quarter were $79.9 billion, up 9% from the first quarter of 2003, and average earning assets were $111.0 billion, up 6% from the first quarter of 2003. Not including the impact of Three Pillars, average loans in the first quarter were up 7% and average earnings assets were up 4% from the first quarter of 2003.

Average consumer and commercial deposits for the first quarter were $70.4 billion, up 4% from the first quarter of 2003. As one example of SunTrust's institutional emphasis on customer sales, the Company noted particularly strong continued growth in both DDA deposits and NOW deposit categories, up 17% and 9% respectively from the first quarter of 2003.

The positive impact of SunTrust's sales focus was also reflected in noninterest income, excluding net securities gains, of $590.2 million in the quarter, up 17% from the first quarter of 2003. Total noninterest income including net securities gains was $595.1 million for the quarter, up 9% from the first quarter of 2003.

Total noninterest income and noninterest income excluding net securities gains both represented 41% of total revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

Total noninterest expense in the first quarter was $889.7 million, up 9% from the first quarter of 2003 and essentially flat from the fourth quarter of 2003. Personnel-related expenses, SunTrust's largest operating expense component, while up 7% from a year ago, were down 2% from the prior quarter.

Net charge-offs in the first quarter were $58.8 million or 0.30% of average loans, down from $79.8 million, or 0.44% of average loans in the first quarter of 2003. The provision for loan losses was $59.4 million for the first quarter of 2004.

Nonperforming assets were $331.9 million at quarter end or 0.42% of loans, other real estate owned and other repossessed assets, down 12% from $378.1 million as of December 31, 2003. Nonperforming assets at March 31, 2004 included $302.6 million in nonperforming loans, $18.4 million in other real estate owned and $11.0 million in other repossessed assets. The allowance for loan losses at March 31, 2004 was $942.5 million and represented 1.19% of period-end loans and 311.5% of nonperforming loans. SunTrust's net charge-off and nonperforming asset levels continue to compare very favorably with the most recently published industry averages.

At March 31, 2004, SunTrust had total assets of $125.2 billion. Equity capital of $10.1 billion represented 8.1% of total assets. Book value per share was $35.74, up 15% from March 31, 2003.

To view the corresponding financial tables and information, please refer to the Investor Relations section located under "About SunTrust" on our Web site at www.suntrust.com . This information may also be directly accessed via the quick link entitled "1st Quarter Earnings Release" located at the lower right hand corner of the SunTrust homepage.

SunTrust management will host a conference call on April 8, 2004 at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the earnings results and business trends. Individuals are encouraged to call in beginning at 8:15 a.m. (Eastern Time) by dialing 1-888-822-9863 (Passcode: 1Q04; Leader: Gary Peacock.). Individuals calling from outside the United States should dial 1-484-630-1854 (Passcode: 1Q04; Leader: Gary Peacock). A replay of the call will be available beginning April 8, 2004 and ending April 22, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) by dialing 1-888-296-6941 (domestic) or 1-402-998-0531 (international).

Alternatively, individuals may listen to the live webcast of the presentation by visiting the SunTrust Web site at www.suntrust.com . The webcast will be hosted under "Investor Relations" located under "About SunTrust" or may be accessed directly from the SunTrust home page by clicking on the Earnings related link, "1st Quarter Earnings Release". Beginning the afternoon of April 8, 2004, listeners may access an archived version of the presentation in the "Webcasts" subsection found under "Investor Relations". A link to the Investor Relations page is also found in the footer of the SunTrust home page.

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the nation's largest commercial banking organizations. The Company operates through an extensive distribution network primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is www.suntrust.com .

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, as defined by federal securities law, which involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in or implied by such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: changes in interest rates; changes in accounting principles, policies, or guidelines; significant changes in the economic scenario: significant changes in regulatory requirements; and significant changes in securities markets. SunTrust does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made. Any such statements are made in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Act of 1995. For further information regarding SunTrust, please read the SunTrust reports filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov .

   SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Subsidiaries
   RECONCILEMENT OF NON-GAAP MEASURES
   APPENDIX A TO THE PRESS RELEASE

                                               1st Quarter       4th Quarter
                                                  2004              2003

    NON-GAAP MEASURES PRESENTED IN THE
     PRESS RELEASE
    (Dollars in thousands)

    Return on average total assets                1.16 %            1.09 %
    Impact of excluding net unrealized
     securities gains                             0.03              0.02
    Return on average total assets less
     net unrealized gains on securities           1.19 %            1.11 %

    Return on average total
     shareholders' equity                        14.65 %           14.40 %
    Impact of excluding net unrealized
     securities gains                             2.94              2.73
    Return on average realized
     shareholders' equity                        17.59 %           17.13 %

    Net interest income                       $851,648          $865,520
    FTE adjustment                              12,256            11,981
    Net interest income - FTE                  863,904           877,501
    Noninterest income                         595,086           584,072
    Total revenue                            1,458,990         1,461,573
    Securities gains                            (4,927)          (19,501)
    Total revenue less securities gains     $1,454,063        $1,442,072


   SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Subsidiaries
   RECONCILEMENT OF NON-GAAP MEASURES
   APPENDIX A TO THE PRESS RELEASE

                                    3rd Quarter   2nd Quarter   1st Quarter
                                        2003          2003          2003

    NON-GAAP MEASURES PRESENTED IN
     THE PRESS RELEASE
    (Dollars in thousands)

    Return on average total assets       1.04 %        1.11 %        1.12 %
    Impact of excluding net
     unrealized securities gains         0.02          0.02          0.03
    Return on average total assets
     less net unrealized gains on
     securities                          1.06 %        1.13 %        1.15 %

    Return on average total
     shareholders' equity               14.24 %       14.95 %       15.13 %
    Impact of excluding net
     unrealized securities gains         2.82          2.92          3.03
    Return on average realized
     shareholders' equity               17.06 %       17.87 %       18.16 %

    Net interest income              $832,800      $799,513      $822,470
    FTE adjustment                     11,588        10,902        10,543
    Net interest income - FTE         844,388       810,415       833,013
    Noninterest income                574,478       596,792       547,659
    Total revenue                   1,418,866     1,407,207     1,380,672
    Securities gains                  (31,098)      (31,238)      (42,039)
    Total revenue less securities
     gains                         $1,387,768    $1,375,969    $1,338,633


                                        1st Quarter  4th Quarter   Change
                                           2004         2003         %(2)

    NON-GAAP DISCLOSURES FOR IMPACTS OF
     THREE PILLARS, AFFORDABLE HOUSING
     CONSOLIDATION, AND FICA(1)
    (Dollars in millions)

    Average loans - reported              $79,905      $79,370       0.7  %
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,430)      (2,243)
    Average loans excluding Three Pillars $78,475      $77,127       1.7

    Average earning assets - reported    $111,038     $112,730      (1.5)
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,715)      (2,699)
    Average earning assets excluding
     Three Pillars                       $109,323     $110,031      (0.6)

    Average commercial loans - reported   $28,464      $29,289      (2.8)
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,430)      (2,243)
    Average commercial loans excluding
     Three Pillars                        $27,034      $27,046

    Average commercial loan yield -
     reported                                3.54 %       3.58 %    (1.1)
    Impact of Three Pillars                  0.06         0.11
    Average commercial loan yield
     excluding Three Pillars                 3.60 %       3.69 %    (2.4)

    Net interest margin - reported           3.13 %       3.09 %     1.3
    Impact of Three Pillars                  0.04         0.06
    Impact of affordable housing
     consolidation                           0.01         0.01
    Net interest margin excluding Three
     Pillars and affordable housing
     consolidation                           3.18 %       3.16 %     0.6

    Net charge-offs to average loans -
     reported                                0.30 %       0.35 %   (14.3)
    Impact of Three Pillars                     -         0.01
    Net charge-offs to average loans
     excluding Three Pillars                 0.30 %       0.36 %   (16.7)

    Allowance to period-end loans -
     reported                                1.19 %       1.17 %     1.7
    Impact of Three Pillars                     -         0.03
    Allowance to period-end loans
     excluding Three Pillars                 1.19 %       1.20 %    (0.8)

    Total nonperforming loans to total
     loans - reported                        0.38 %       0.44 %   (13.6)
    Impact of Three Pillars                     -         0.01
    Total nonperforming loans to total
     loans excluding Three Pillars           0.38 %       0.45 %   (15.6)

    Total nonperforming assets to total
     loans plus OREO and other
     repossessed assets - reported           0.42 %       0.47 %   (10.6)
    Impact of Three Pillars                     -         0.01
    Total nonperforming assets to total
     loans plus OREO and other
     repossessed assets excluding Three
     Pillars                                 0.42 %       0.48 %   (12.5)

    (Dollars in thousands)

    Personnel expense - reported         $506,796     $516,171      (1.8)
    FICA & unemployment tax                40,766       21,772
    Personnel expense excluding FICA &
     unemployment                        $466,030     $494,399      (5.7)

    Noninterest expense - reported       $889,748     $884,794       0.6
    FICA & unemployment tax                40,766       21,772
    Noninterest expense excluding FICA
     & unemployment tax                  $848,982     $863,022      (1.6)


                                        1st Quarter  1st Quarter   Change
                                           2004         2003         %

    NON-GAAP DISCLOSURES FOR IMPACTS OF
     THREE PILLARS, AFFORDABLE HOUSING
     CONSOLIDATION, AND FICA(1)
    (Dollars in millions)

    Average loans - reported              $79,905      $73,050       9.4 %
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,430)           -
    Average loans excluding Three Pillars $78,475      $73,050       7.4

    Average earning assets - reported    $111,038     $105,249       5.5
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,715)           -
    Average earning assets excluding
     Three Pillars                       $109,323     $105,249       3.9

    Average commercial loans - reported   $28,464      $27,838       2.2
    Impact of Three Pillars                (1,430)           -
    Average commercial loans excluding
     Three Pillars                        $27,034      $27,838      (2.9)

    Average commercial loan yield -
     reported                                3.54 %       3.94 %   (10.2)
    Impact of Three Pillars                  0.06            -
    Average commercial loan yield
     excluding Three Pillars                 3.60 %       3.94 %    (8.6)

    Net interest margin - reported           3.13 %       3.21 %    (2.5)
    Impact of Three Pillars                  0.04            -
    Impact of affordable housing
     consolidation                           0.01            -
    Net interest margin excluding Three
     Pillars and affordable housing
     consolidation                           3.18 %       3.21 %    (0.9)

    (1) Under the provisions of FASB Interpretation No. 46, SunTrust
        consolidated its commercial paper conduit, Three Pillars, effective
        July 1, 2003. As of March 1, 2004, Three Pillars was restructured
        and deconsolidated.  Certain other affordable housing limited
        partnerships were also consolidated beginning in the third quarter
        of 2003.  Adjustments were made to reported figures for
        comparability purposes.
    (2) Multiply by 4 to calculate sequential annualized growth or
        reductions discussed in the earnings call.

SOURCE: SunTrust Banks, Inc.

CONTACT: Investors, Gary Peacock, +1-404-658-4879, or Media, Barry
Koling, +1-404-230-5268, both of SunTrust Banks, Inc.