SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

March 01, 2011 08:46 ET

Regions and Huntington Bancshares at Different Stages of Recovery

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

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 1, 2011) - In recent quarters, regional banks have begun to post improved credit quality and have shown signs that credit losses are in the past. 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. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Sector and provides research reports on Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF) and Huntington Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-03-RF

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-03-HBAN

With much of the sector posting consistent profits again as commercial real estate-related loan losses are easing, the number of Regional Banks still owing TARP money has shrunk considerably. Repaying TARP money leads to fewer capital constraints placed on the banks. In fact, the Fed explained that banks which have yet to repay the government bailout money received through the US Treasury Department's Troubled Assets Relief Program will not be allowed to increase their dividend payments.

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.

In the company's fourth quarter earnings call, Regions reported a net income of 3 cents per share, which compared favorably with a loss of 17 cents in the prior quarter and 51 cents in the year-ago period. Regions didn't release reserves during the fourth quarter, as its provision for loan loss reserves of $682 million matched its net loan charge-offs.

Regarding its capital ratios, Regions executives explain that "The minimum guideline to be considered well-capitalized for Tier 1 capital and Total capital is 6 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Regions' consolidated Tier 1 capital ratio was 12.40 percent and its Total capital ratio was 16.35 percent."
Last December, Huntington Bancshares finished paying back $1.4 billion in US bailout funds. The company's Chief Executive Officer Stephen Steinour said of the company's most recent quarter that "Credit quality again improved significantly, a trend we anticipate will continue. Importantly, we repaid our TARP capital and ended the quarter with strong regulatory capital and very strong common equity capital ratios."

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