Regional bank Fifth Third 2Q profit rises 58 pct

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- Regional banking company Fifth Third Bancorp's second-quarter net income rose 58 percent, thanks partly to the sale of shares of its Vantiv payment processing subsidiary.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third on Thursday reported net income available to common shareholders of $594 million, or 66 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. That compares with $376 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding benefits tied to the Vantiv stock sales, earnings were 44 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations for 42 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Its shares rose 25 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $19.24 in premarket trading.

Net interest income, or income from loans and deposits, fell 1.6 percent to $885 million compared with last year. Net charge-offs of bad loans fell 62 percent to $112 million.

Earnings from fees and other charges, or noninterest income, rose 56 percent to $1.06 billion, partly because of a $242 million benefit from sales of Vantiv shares. Fifth Third spun off Vantiv in an initial public offering in March 2012 and has continued to sell its remaining stake.

Fifth Third's business has rebounded after the nation's financial and housing crisis hit key markets in Florida and Michigan particularly hard. In June, Fifth Third raised its second-quarter cash dividend on common shares to 12 cents per share.

Fifth Third operates more than 1,300 banks in 12 states: Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

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