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Stock Analyst Update

Out of the Gate, Banks' Fourth-Quarter Earnings Results Appear Mixed

M&I stumbles, but BB&T and Synovus are on track.

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Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley (MI) released disappointing fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, a victim of curbed Y2K technology spending and rising interest rates. The banking and data-processing company reported operating net income of $0.81 per share--a penny short of analysts' consensus estimates.

Many of the problems M&I faced during the quarter appear to be temporary, such as flat revenues from its data-processing and software division. Customers of that division, many of which are banks that rely on M&I to process their financial transactions, weren't buying lots of new products and services on the eve of the Y2K date change. With that unknown behind us, however, technology investments should trend up again later this year.

Laura Pavlenko Lutton does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.