U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 32 mins

Synovus 4Q net income up on tax benefit

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- Synovus Financial Corp. on Tuesday reported a jump in its fourth-quarter net income due to a tax benefit.

The company, based in Columbus, Ga., has roughly $27 billion in assets and provides commercial and retail bank services to customers in five Southern states.

Synovus reported net income available to shareholders of $712.8 million, or 78 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That is compared with net income of $12.8 million, or 1 cent per share, in the same quarter of the prior year.

The latest quarter includes an $800 million income tax benefit as the company recaptured substantially all of its deferred tax asset valuation allowance. The company also had a $157 million charge during the period associated with the sale of some distressed assets.

Synovus CEO Kessel Stelling said the quarter reflects a huge step forward for the company. He said the recapture of the deferred tax asset represents a significant milestone and the company has cut its expenses to better suit its smaller size.

The company's net interest income, or money earned from deposits and loans, fell 8.7 percent to $207.5 million. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $216.5 million. Its noninterest income, money earned from fees, charges and other sources, increased 9 percent to $80.1 million.

Synovus' stock was down 4 cents to $2.67 in late trading. Its stock value has increased more than 60 percent since this time last year.