SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

July 26, 2012 08:20 ET

Regional Banks Posting Better-Than-Expected Earnings

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on KeyCorp and Fifth Third Bancorp

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2012) - After an impressive start top the year the financial sector has cooled off considerably in the second quarter. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) has fallen over 7 percent in the last three months, but is still up nearly 9 percent for the year. Regional banks have outperformed their larger counterparts in recent weeks with a string of better-than-expected earnings. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the regional Banking Industry and provides equity research on KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) and Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB).

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Banks have been posting stronger earnings and quarterly results than the previous quarter and the prior year KBW analysts have said. According to KBW's bank earnings round-up 46 of the 64 banks, 72 percent, have beat expectations. The 72 percent "beat rate" compares to last quarter's 67 percent rate and 69 percent in the year-ago-quarter. Despite posting stronger quarterly results banks shares have stagnated. The SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) has seen no change in the last month.

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KeyCorp is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies with assets of approximately $87 billion. The company reported second quarter net income of $221 million, or $.23 per common share, compared to $199 million, or $.21 per common share for the first quarter of 2012, and $243 million, or $.26 per common share for the second quarter of 2011.

As of June 30, 2012, Fifth Third Bancorp had $118 billion in assets and operated 15 affiliates with 1,322 full-service Banking Centers. The company reported second quarter 2012 net income of $385 million, compared with net income of $430 million in the first quarter of 2012 and net income of $337 million in the second quarter of 2011. Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp are up nearly 8 percent for the year.

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