SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

July 28, 2011 08:16 ET

Regions Financial and Huntington Bancshares Show Different Priorities

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

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 28, 2011) - This earnings season showed some favorable results in the regional banking sector as loan growth is beginning to improve. Higher revenue has prompted some banks to boost dividend payments, while others must first repay TARP money before returning cash to shareholders. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the regional banking sector and provides equity research on Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF) and Huntington Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Last week The Wall Street Journal reported that earnings at regional banks have recently been lifted by improving credit quality among loans, allowing more of their top-line revenue to make it all the way to the bottom line.

In the most recent quarter Regions Financial said loan-loss provisions were reduced to $398 million from $651 million a year earlier. Net charge-offs were 2.71% of average loans, compared with 2.99% a year ago.

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Regions Financial has yet to pay back its $3.5 billion TARP bailout, and hired Goldman Sachs last month to explore the possibility of a sale in order to raise funds.

Huntington Bancshares reported second-quarter net income of $145.9 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to $126.4 million, or 14 cents a share in the first quarter and $48.8 million, or three cents a share, in the second quarter of 2010. The company recently raised its quarterly dividend to four cents a share from one cent a share.

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