Should be an interesting annual s/h meeting..expect very good attendance. 2004 earnings have been disappointing, out of character with many years of consecutive quarterly increases. First Va. dilution, mortgage volume decline are the primary reported culprits. That said, First Va. was a strategic necessity and you have to buy when sellers are willing to deal..may not be the best time for buyer. Stock performance has been below par for the past four years. Markets are not as tolerant of merger dilution as before and some of peers have performed better in the market recently (BAC,WB),no question. Recession, 9/11, war on terrorism all have had an impact on business. However, total Returns have been good to longer term holders, a lot of us still around; see yahoo max chart http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=BBT&t=my&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=
some buyers since 2000 have heartburn, understandable, others bought low as buying opportunity and are holding for the turnaround. I'm as interested in a robust stock price as anyone on the the board and believe patient investors are rewarded, usually. This a good company..IMHO tasks ahead: .complete consolidation/integration of merged staffs, .develop more non-interest sensitive sources of income, .maintain pristine credit quality, .focus on existing geographic footprint, .no bank deals til the currency improves, .watch asset/liability sensitivity (rates are headed up) .full court press on customer service!
Maybe, we could try to be a little more accurate in our postings. Not only have the 2004 earnings been disappointing, but contrary to what you posted the 4th quarter of 2003 was below earnings for 4th quarter 2002. You stated that they had many years of consecutive qurterly earnings before 2004.In addition the company has already lowered the estimates of earnings for 2004 to about the same level as 2003 earnings.
They will have to do a lot better in the next three quarters to just have earnings as good as last year. The last quarter was 61 cents verus 70 cents last year. They will have to average at least 12 cent more each of the next three quarters than the 1st quarter to just match last year's earnings.
Just for the record this stock was $67.6875 in March of 1998 before a two for one split. This would be a value of $33.84 a share and April 23rd they ended at $34.72. That is a Six year gain of 88 cents a share. It appears that is a little longer than your stated 4 years of poor performance.
Wishing and hoping won't make it happen and the return has just not been in this puppy for the last six years.