KeyCorp Posts Profit at Top End of Guidance

KeyCorp reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings that were at the top end of the bank's guidance.

KepCorp said it earned $311 million, or 76 cents a share, from continuing operations in the three months ended December, up from $284 million, or 69 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

In October, the Cleveland-based bank said it expected to earn between 72 cents and 76 cents a share, according to Thomson, with the analysts' consensus estimate at 74 cents a share.

The results exclude a fourth-quarter charge of $164 million, or 40 cents a share, because it is writing off $170 million of goodwill tied to the sale of its Champion Mortgage subprime lending unit. It expects another $25 million to $30 million of pretax charges in 2007.

KeyCorp paid about $200 million for Champion in 1997.

KeyCorp has about $96.2 billion of assets and 949 branches.