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BB&T Earnings Beat Expectations

Moving the focus briefly away from the mega Wall Street banks, BB&T -- a big regional bank -- reported today that first-quarter earnings dropped sharply compared to last year but easily beat Wall Street expectations.

The bank reported earnings of 48 cents per share -- down 37 percent from this time last year, but well above the forecast estimate of 31 cents per share. You can read their full earnings report here.

BB&T said it would maintain its dividend, bucking the trend of other banks.

The bank has received $3.1 billion in federal bailout money and paid the government $40 million dividend on the government grant in the first quarter.

Regional banks such as BB&T carry bad loans on their books, to be sure, but generally did not delve as deeply into the risky financial instruments, such as credit-default swaps, that brought down big Wall Street houses, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros.

Also, many of the smaller banks held onto the mortgages they made and did not sell them into the securitization market, protecting themselves.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 17, 2009; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: BB&T, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers  
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