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Fifth Third Bancorp sees 4Q profit jump on Vantiv stake sale. Its adjusted results excluding one-time gains matched Wall Street expectations.

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NEW YORK — Fifth Third Bancorp on Thursday reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit on the sale of a stake in the payment processing company Vantiv Inc.

The bank, based in Cincinnati, said its profit after paying preferred dividends rose to $634 million, or 79 cents per share, from $362 million, or 43 cents per share, a year ago. The increase came mainly from $331 million in gains from the sale of Vantiv shares.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 41 cents per share. That matched the average expectations of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The regional bank's revenue rose 30 percent to $2 billion from $1.54 billion in the period, which topped Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.57 billion.

The bank had provision expenses of $91 million during the quarter, down from $99 million a year prior. Net interest margins, a measure of lending profitability, fell to 2.85 percent from 2.96 percent a year prior.

For the year, the company reported profit available to common shareholders of $1.6 billion, or $2.01 per share. Revenue was reported as $6.54 billion.

Fifth Third shares rose 4 cents to $16.57 in morning trading. They have dropped 18 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has declined 9 percent. The stock has decreased roughly 9 percent in the last 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on FITB at http://www.zacks.com/ap/FITB

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Keywords: Fifth Third Bancorp, Earnings Report

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