SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

November 08, 2010 11:25 ET

More Lenient Fed Policies Unlikely to Help These Regional Banks

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Huntington Bancshares & Fifth Third Bancorp

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 8, 2010) -  The majority of Regional Banks have sounded like a broken record this earnings season with "Credit quality continues to improve, but loan demand is lagging" being the theme this year. More thorough and cautious credit checks have led to fewer delinquent loans and greater financial stability. As such, Banks are setting aside less money to cover bad loans, and some are seeing loan losses recede. Based on investor sentiment towards regional banks as of late, improved credit quality isn't enough. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Sector and provides research reports on Huntington Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) and Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2010-11-HBAN

www.bedfordreport.com/2010-11-FITB

While the improving margin helped narrow losses and boost profits among the regional banks, long-term growth worries still loom. According to recent quarterly earnings released by banks such as Huntington Bancshares and many of its peers, loan demand has yet to pick up due to economic uncertainties. As evident from the high unemployment numbers, companies are not hiring at the pace most expected this year, while capital spending is way down.

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 for free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Reports from The Wall Street Journal indicate that the Federal Reserve could soon allow the stronger banks to increase dividend payments to holders. This piece of news could mean little to investors in regional banks, however, as most fail to meet the new regulatory guidelines. Presently Huntington Bancshares pays a modest annual dividend of four cents as the company has yet to pay back TARP. Huntington's CEO, S.D. Steinour, was recently quoted saying the company has yet to set a TARP payback date. Steinour hinted that the holding company would like to see economic stability, and also believes they will need to raise capital before repaying TARP. Similarly, the Cincinnati-based lender, Fifth Third Bancorp has yet to repay its $3.4 billion in TARP aid.

The Bedford Report provides Analyst Research focused on equities that offer growth opportunities, value, and strong potential return. We strive to provide the most up-to-date market activities. We constantly create research reports and newsletters for our members. The Bedford Report has not been compensated by any of the above mentioned companies. We act as an independent research portal and are aware that all investment entails inherent risks. Please view the full disclaimer at: http://www.bedfordreport.com/disclaimer.php.

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