Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
Apr 27, 2021, 5:00 p.m. ET
- Prepared Remarks
- Questions and Answers
- Call Participants
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Capital One first-quarter 2021 earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Jeff Norris, senior vice president of finance. Sir, you may begin.
Jeff Norris — Senior Vice President of Finance
Thanks very much, Keith, and welcome, everybody, to Capital One’s first-quarter 2021 earnings conference call. As usual, we are webcasting live over the Internet. To access the call on the Internet, please log on to Capital One’s website at capitalone.com and follow the links from there. In addition to the press release and financials, we have included a presentation summarizing our first-quarter 2021 results.
With me today are Mr. Richard Fairbank, Capital One’s chairman and chief executive officer; and Mr. Andrew Young, Capital One’s chief financial officer. Rich and Andrew will walk you through this presentation.
To access a copy of the presentation and the press release, please go to Capital One’s website, click on investors and click on quarterly earnings releases. Please note that this presentation may contain forward-looking statements. Information regarding Capital One’s financial performance and any forward-looking statements contained in today’s discussion and the materials speak only as of the particular date or dates indicated in the materials. Capital One does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of this information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Numerous factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements. And for more information on those factors, please see the section titled Forward-Looking Information in the earnings release presentation and the risk factors section in our annual and quarterly reports accessible at the Capital One website and filed with the SEC. And with that, I’ll turn the call over to Mr. Young.
Andrew Young — Chief Financial Officer
Thanks, Jeff, and good afternoon, everyone. I’ll start on Slide 3 of tonight’s presentation. In the first quarter, Capital One earned $3.3 billion or $7.03 per diluted common share. Pre-provision earnings increased 1% in the quarter to $3.4 billion, and we recorded a provision benefit of $823 million.
After recognizing $535 million of gains during 2021 on our Snowflake investment, we had a loss on our position in the first quarter of $75 million or $0.12 per share. We’ve now fully exited our position with a cumulative gain of $460 million. Turning to Slide 4, I will cover the quarterly allowance moves in more detail. In the first quarter, we released $1.6 billion of allowance.
The release was driven by strong credit performance…