Financial Performance

Capital One Swings to $971 Million Loss in Q4

The credit card issuer increased its credit loss provision by 5% and also took a $1.77 billion hit from the new tax law.
Matthew HellerJanuary 24, 2018

Credit card issuer Capital One swung to a quarterly loss and adjusted earnings missed expectations, reflecting in part a large provision for credit losses.

For the fourth quarter, the company said Tuesday lost $971 million, or $2.17 per share, compared with a profit of $791 million, or $1.45 per share, in the year-ago period.

The provision for credit losses increased 5% to $1.9 billion. Capital One also took a hit of $1.77 billion related to the recent tax code changes.

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“U.S. banks are being pressured as a rising number of Americans fall behind on their credit card payments, forcing them to set aside more money to cover defaults,” Reuters noted.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.66 per share while net revenue remained substantially flat at $7.0 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.88 per share on revenue of $7.12 billion.

Period-end loans held for investment increased 1% to $254.5 billion, with domestic card loans down 5% at $105.3 billion, consumer banking loans down 1% at $75.1 billion, and commercial banking loans down 5% at $64.6 billion.

“In 2017, we continued to grow loans and revenue,” Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank said in a news release. “We improved our efficiency. Our digital and technology transformation continued to gain momentum. And, we delivered 7.4% EPS growth, net of adjustments.”

“Our 2017 results put us in a strong position to continue to deliver attractive growth and returns over the long-term,” he added.

In trading Tuesday, Capital One shares closed up 0.2% at $105.71 after falling as much as 1.5% earlier in the day.