Acquisition reduces Huntington earnings

WARREN — Leaders at Huntington Bancshares Inc., holding company of Huntington National Bank, said a 17 percent drop in the company’s net income can be linked to its FirstMerit acquisition-related expenses.

Huntington, in its third-quarter earnings report this week, said it had a $26 million decrease in net income for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, when it posted $127 million, compared to the year-ago quarter. However, company leaders said the FirstMerit acquisition significantly contributed to Huntington’s “dramatic 24 percent increase in year-over-year revenue.”

Earnings per common share for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 were 11 cents, down 7 cents, or 39 percent, from the same period last year.

FirstMerit acquisition-related expenses totaled $159 million pretax, or 11 cents per common share, the company said, but its total revenue increased 24 percent over the year-ago quarter. Acquiring FirstMerit added approximately $26.8 billion in assets, $15.5 billion in loans and leases, and $21.2 billion in total deposits, the company said.

Steve Steinour, chairman, president/CEO, said the company is excited about its third-quarter acquisition of FirstMerit, “which has strengthened the return profile of the company.”

“We delivered solid core fundamental performance for the quarter,” he said.

Acquisition-related expenses continue to be in line with the company’s expectations and guidance, he said, adding that auto and mortgage lending were among the significant drivers of organic loan growth during the quarter, complemented by acquisition-related growth.

“We are entering a new era for Huntington, as we introduce our customer-centric strategies and operating model to new geographies and improve our operating efficiency due to increased scale,” Steinour said.

On Wednesday, Huntington was recognized in MONEY Magazine’s Best Banks in America for 2016-2017 as the Best Regional Bank: Great Lakes.