SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

April 27, 2011 08:16 ET

Loan Growth Slows Progress for Synovus and Huntington Bancshares

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Huntington Bancshares & Synovus Financial

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 27, 2011) - This earnings season regional banks have posted mixed results as improving credit quality has been offset by weak loan demand and lower revenue from mortgage lending. Analysts at KBW estimate that loans were down approximately six percent in the most recent quarter, dragging down revenues throughout the banking sector. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Sector and provides research reports on Huntington Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: HBAN) and Synovus Financial Corporation (NYSE: SNV). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-04-HBAN

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-04-SNV

With the real estate market showing limited signs of recovery as rates rise and the foreclosure crisis continues to weigh down the market, regional banks are struggling to post improving revenues. In addition, new regulations that reduce debit-card fees are poised to hurt top lines throughout the banking sector. The Dodd-Frank Act has called for a limit on the amount banks can charge in debit card swipe fees; however, Senate and House lawmakers are planning to put forth legislation that would postpone the debit card policy for at least two years.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Regional Banking sector so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Yesterday Synovus posted a first quarter loss of $93.7 million, or 12 cents a share, versus a loss of $229.8 million, or 47 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding the restructuring charge, the net loss was 9 cents a share. Last year Synovus was one of the few Regional Banks still struggling with credit quality, however the bank is finally setting aside less money to cover bad loans. Provisions for loan losses were down 58 percent to $141.7 million. Total credit costs fell $105 million sequentially to $177 million.

Huntington Bancshares recently posted net income of $118.7 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with $10.4 million, or 1 cent per share a year ago. Huntington reported that non-performing assets, or loans considered past due and in danger of being written off, fell to $690.9 million from $1.92 billion a year before and from $844.7 million in the fourth quarter.

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