WARREN - A strong comeback in midwest manufacturing may be helping to drive the 10 percent increase in third quarter income at Huntington Bancshares Inc.
The regional bank, based in Columbus, reported net income of $167.8 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, up $15.1 million from the previous quarter, and also up $24.4 million from the third quarter of 2011.
Earnings per common share were 19 cents, up 2 cents from the prior quarter and above Wall Street projections of 17 cents. Net income per common share a year ago was 16 cents.
''We are seeing the midwest footprint bounce back faster than the rest of the country,'' Mahoning Valley regional President Frank Hierro said Thursday, noting the longterm view is very ''bullish.''
''We are a strong believer that manufacturing is making a strong comeback and it will continue to drive growth,'' Hierro said. That includes business in mortgages, auto loans and deposits.
In addition, Hierro said the bank has seen a 21 percent increase in its commercial relationships, particularly in small business lending.
Huntington's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of 4 cents per common share, payable Jan. 2.
Total noninterest income increased $7.2 million, or 3 percent, from the prior quarter. That included a $6.3 million increase in mortgage banking income and a $3.8 million increase in securities gains. Gain on sale of loans increased $2.5 million due to the sale of automobile loans. There was a $4.4 million decrease in other income compared to the previous quarter, largely due to the sale of affordable housing investments last quarter.
Huntington officials said the bank has added more than 250,000 household and 26,000 commercial consumers since the first quarter of 2010.
A portion of the company's strategic investments remain in the early stages, including plans to build more than 180 in-store full service branches like the ones local customers are seeing in Giant Eagle supermarkets.