One nice thing about owning US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is that you know you won’t blow up when it reports earnings. Unlike other money-center banks such as JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE: C), it won’t make dumb loans to a risky country, nor will it be involved in a hedge-fund trade that went bad, nor will it grow through making large acquisitions. It is not that kind of company.
As expected, the third quarter was not exciting. It’s hard to analyze the company’s performance without diving into a series of glass-half-empty and glass-half-full arguments. So I’ll do just that.