yes, credit is simply a commodity. At times it is cheap, at times expensive. But it is a market-driven phenom. BB&T's dollar is no greener than that of any other bank. Stock price will adjust for two reasons: (1) balance sheet expansion and (2) dividend yield. The credit markets are opening up now, as banks put their reserves to work and credit is becoming more reasonably priced as competition for lending once again heats up. BB&T cannot stand this environment. They always want to charge more for the same loan, pay less for deposits, and never pay market for acquisitions. They have to do this because they manage their cost of captial with 1970s logic. This is the reason the stock has gone nowhere for over a decade...it is not an academic or philosophical exercise. For years they have complained about the "cabal" of bankers on the street, the Fed, and the Treasury. It gets tired after awhile...maybe they should stop distributing copies of Ayn Rand, start lending some money, and manage their b/s. The market never comes to a bank...a bank has to go to and make the market.
The overall market is down big today, so it's hard to tell whether the reduced provisions had a positive impact. But there is always a great deal of skepticism about earnings generated thorough lowered loan loss provisions, particularly for "negative" provisions.(I assume this happened because recoveries allegedly exceeded chargeoffs)
The ratio of the loan loss reserve to nonperforming loans is a better measure of whether management is manipulating their income. If management can lower their quarterly provisions WITHOUT lowering that ratio, then the reductions represent a genuine increase to income. If the provision reductions lower that ratio below 65%, then management is playing games to juice income(and their own bonuses). Its a grey area when the provision reductions reduce the ratio but keep it above 80%.