Huntington Bancshares reports increase in second quarter earnings

MORGANTOWN — Huntington Bancshares, the parent company of Huntington National Bank, reported a 31 percent increase in second quarter earnings over last year, riding the nation’s surging economy.

Huntington saw second-quarter (April 1-June 30) earnings of $355 million, compared to $272 million during the same period of 2017, according to its report.

Second-quarter earnings per share rose 30 percent, from 23 cents in 2017 to 30 cents this year.

West Virginia Region President Chad Prather credited the growth to the strong economy. Federal tax relief legislation freed up business capital to invest. Consumer confidence is higher, so people and businesses are spending more, he said.

All that confidence has spurred borrowing, he said, with businesses taking loans, and people buying houses and cars.

That’s reflected in the numbers released by Huntington. Total loans grew by 7 percent over second quarter 2017, from $67.3 billion to $71.9 billion. Consumer lending rose by 10 percent, from $32.3 billion to $35.7 billion. Commercial lending rose by 3 percent, from $35.1 billion to $36.2 billion.

While Prather declined specific predictions about third-quarter growth, he said, “We hope would be even greater.”

Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington operates in eight states. Last year, it completed the acquisition and integration, begun in 2016, of Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Bank, a $3.4 billion deal.

They’re now seeing the benefits of that acquisition, Prather said.

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