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PNC Financial's quarterly earnings tumble

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PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s third-quarter earnings fell as the regional bank made less money from loans, deposits, fees and charges. The year-ago results also included a hefty gain tied to a sale.

Pittsburgh-based PNC is the parent company of PNC Bank, which has about 1,200 employees and 88 branches in the Indianapolis area.

PNC said Wednesday that its earnings fell to $826 million, or $1.55 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That's down from $1.09 billion, or $2.07 per share, a year earlier.

The prior-year period benefited from a $328 million, or 62-cents-per-share gain, related to the sale of PNC Global Investment Servicing.

The results surpassed the earnings of $1.50 per share that analysts polled by FactSet predicted.

PNC Financial's provision for loan losses — money set aside to cover souring loans — dropped to $261 million from $486 million. Further signs of improving credit included declines in nonperforming assets and net charge-offs, or loans written off as uncollectable.

Revenue dipped 2 percent, to $3.54 billion from $3.6 billion, missing Wall Street's estimate of $3.56 billion.

Net interest income, or money earned from deposits and loans, fell 2 percent, to $2.18 billion from $2.22 billion.

Noninterest income, or earnings from fees and charges, declined 1 percent, to $1.37 billion from $1.38 billion.

The company's third-quarter tax rate was 27 percent, compared with 18.8 percent a year earlier. PNC Financial said the lower rate in the year-ago period was mostly due to a tax benefit related to a favorable IRS letter ruling that resolved a prior tax position.

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