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SunTrust reports fourth quarter profit

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SunTrust sees increase in fourth-quarter profit

SunTrust Banks reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit Friday.

The Atlanta-based bank saw a profit of $185 million, or 23 cents a share, up from a loss of $248.1 million, or 64 cents a share.

SunTrust reported net income of $189 million for the year, a turnaround from a $1.5 billion loss suffered in 2009.

The bank benefited from a jump in revenue and a decline in the number of bad loans. Nonperforming loans, those in danger of default, were also down in the quarter.

SunTrust is the sixth-largest bank in the area with 11 branches and $494 million in deposits.

GE improves income in lending, industry arms

NEW YORK --- General Electric Co. said Friday that fourth-quarter net income increased 52 percent as the company made more money in both its lending and industrial businesses.

The lending arm, GE Capital, drove the company's results as it dealt with fewer loan defaults. Risky loans hammered GE during the financial crisis, forcing huge writedowns.

Industrial sales also rose during the fourth quarter and orders for equipment, an indication of future business, jumped 20 percent.

Facebook investors add $1 billion more

NEW YORK --- Facebook said Friday it has raised $1 billion from non-U.S. investors, bringing the haul from its latest round of funding to $1.5 billion.

Investments from Goldman Sachs and Russia's Digital Sky Technologies in December valued the social networking site at $50 billion, more than the market values of Yahoo or eBay, but below those of Amazon.com and Google.

Facebook did not say Friday how it plans to spend the $1.5 billion.

As anticipated, Facebook also said it will start filing public financial reports by April 30, 2012. Though that doesn't technically mean an initial public stock offering, that is the most likely outcome because Facebook will have to make many of the same disclosures of a publicly traded company anyway.

In other news

CITIGROUP INC. IS lifting CEO Vikram Pandit's base salary to $1.75 million from just $1 a year effective immediately, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The announcement comes after Citi reported its first full year of profits since Pandit took over the top job in 2007 and the bank exited government ownership. Pandit in 2009 pledged to take a $1 salary until the troubled bank returned to profitability.


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