U.S. Bancorp beats expectations, but faces more challenges in credit

U.S. Bancorp (USB), the nation's sixth largest commercial bank, reported earnings before the market opened today. Earnings for the second quarter of 2009 were $471 million -- down from $950 million a year ago -- or 12 cents per share, compared to the average of 10 cents per share expected from analysts. Revenues were a record $4.2 billion, on the high end of expectations, as the company experienced better fee-based business and grew its loan book. Record mortgage loan volume was one specific factor cited in the release.

Shares were up four percent in morning trading following the announcement.

Discussing the news, Chairman and CEO Richard K. Davis said, "Although the challenges continue and some uncertainty remains in the economy as a whole, our company is focused on the future and on every opportunity to capitalize on the strength of our balance sheet, the breadth of our franchise and the depth of our diversified mix of businesses."