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Huntington Holds Steady, CEO Touts 'Wallet Share' (Update 1)

Tickers in this article: HBAN
Updated from 7:48 a.m. ET with late morning market action and comment from Jefferies analyst Ken Usdin. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Huntington Bancshares CEO Stephen Steinour says Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's recent comments indicate the second quarter was "a benchmark quarter, reflecting significant confidence we are on a sustained recovery, which will be very good for us and the industry."

The Columbus, Ohio, lender reported second-quarter earnings of $150.7 million, or 17 cents a share, down slightly from $151.8 million, or 17 cents a share, in the first quarter, and $152.7 million, or 17 cents a share, during the second quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated second-quarter earnings would come in at 16 cents a share.

Huntington CEO Stephen Steinour

Huntington's second-quarter net interest income was $431.5 million, increasing from $430.1 million the previous quarter, but declining from $435.6 million a year earlier. The net interest margin narrowed to 3.38% from 3.42%, but in the first quarter and in the second quarter of 2012.

Average loans grew slightly, to $41.3 billion in the second quarter from $40.9 billion the previous quarter and $41.2 billion a year earlier. Average second-quarter commercial and industrial loans remained flat sequentially at $17 billion, but were up 6% from $16.1 billion a year earlier. C&I loan growth over the past year has been offset by a planned decline in commercial real estate loans, to an average of $5 billion during the second quarter from $6.1 billion a year earlier.

The company's average auto loans during the second quarter grew to $5.3 billion from $4.8 billion in the second quarter and $5 billion a year earlier. While Huntington has made solid profits from auto loan securitizations, the bank has not done any securitizations during 2013, and has no plans to do so, because "automobile loan yields are relatively more attractive than similar duration securities and the recent decline in estimated securitization gains."

Huntington has been able to offset most of its decline in interest income over the past year by shifting its liability mix away from interest-bearing deposits and borrowings toward non-interest bearing deposits. Average Wholesale borrowings during the second quarter were $2.8 billion, down from $4.3 billion a year earlier. Total interest-bearing liabilities averaged $36.1 billion during the second quarter, declining from $37.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012.