SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

March 24, 2011 08:46 ET

Stronger Regional Banks Search for Buying Opportunities

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on US Bancorp & Fifth Third Bancorp

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) -  As the economic recovery gains momentum, analysts are predicting a surge in regional banking acquisitions. As stronger banks experience diminishing returns in their core business, they are showing willingness to utilize their large resource pools to acquire smaller institutions in a race to diversify and to build their reach. Given the limited opportunities for meaningful acquisitions, the companies in stronger financial positions, and the willingness to act, stand to gain the most from such activities. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Sector and provides research reports on US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

In recent months US Bancorp has been on an acquisition spree. Earlier this year the company acquired the banking operations of New Mexico based First Community Bank, a subsidiary of First State Bancorporation. US Bancorp also completed the purchase of Bank of America's U.S. and Europe-based securitization trust administration businesses.

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 and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

According the Federal Reserve, US Bancorp is one of the stronger regional banking companies. Earlier this week USB's board of directors approved an increase of 150 percent in the dividend rate on its common stock. On an annual basis, the dividend comes to 50 cents per share for a yield of around 1.80 percent.

On Tuesday Fifth Third Bancorp boosted its quarterly dividend to 6 cents a share -- up from a penny earlier. Fifth Third's announcement comes as a response to finalized stress tests to gauge the health of US banks as they recover from the financial crisis.

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