SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

August 29, 2011 08:16 ET

Regions Financial and US Bancorp Look Ready for a Turnaround

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Regions Financial and US Bancorp

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 29, 2011) - Banking stocks have been crushed in recent months as a combination of persistently low interest rates and loan loss provisions has significantly held down both earnings and profits. Despite the negative sentiment, several statistics show regional banks are continuing a successful recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the regional banking sector and provides equity research on Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF) and US Bancorp (NYSE: USB). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said the institutions it insures recorded $28.8 billion in net income over the April-June period, up 38 percent year-on-year. The increase marked the eighth straight quarter in which earnings moved in a positive direction, although revenue fell for the second quarter in a row.

The FDIC explains that banks are posting stronger profits despite weak revenues due to stronger balance sheets and better capital positions.

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Hinting that the troubled Regions Financial may have bottomed out, S&P lifted its outlook on the bank, as the ratings agency said it is impressed by Regions' improved loan performance. For the second quarter Regions Financial said loan-loss provisions were reduced to $398 million from $651 million a year earlier. Net charge-offs were 2.71 percent of average loans, compared with 3 percent a year ago.

For the second quarter US Bancorp said its provision for loan losses -- money set aside to cover souring loans -- dropped by 50 percent to $572 million from $1.14 billion in the year-ago quarter, and from $755 million in this year's first quarter.

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