PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) beat analysts’ estimates Thursday, reporting a first-quarter profit of $832 million, or $1.57 a share, up from $671 million, or 66 cents per share, during the same quarter a year earlier. The average analyst estimate pointed to a profit in the $1.37 per share range. Revenue for the period fell from $3.9 billion to $3.63 billion. The company’s outlook continued to improve with its credit quality. The financial services firm said provisions for credit losses held steady between the fourth quarter and first quarter. Meanwhile, the residential banking division grew its earnings by $68 million as foreclosure-related expenses subsided. In the first quarter, the home mortgage division brought in $71 million, up from $3 million the previous quarter but lower than the $78 million recorded a year prior. Home mortgage earnings over the previous year dropped somewhat because of the company’s need for higher provisions to cover credit losses, lower servicing fees and lower net interest income coupled with higher non-interest expenses. In terms of credit quality, PNC continues to see improvement. The company said “accruing loans past due of $1.9 billion were relatively unchanged from year end and significantly decreased from $3.3 billion at March 31, 2010.” Write to Kerri Panchuk.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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