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StockCall Review on Regions Financial and First Horizon National: Regional Banks Continue to Post Strong Earnings



  StockCall Review on Regions Financial and First Horizon National: Regional
                    Banks Continue to Post Strong Earnings

  PR Newswire

  LONDON, January 24, 2013

LONDON, January 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Despite the challenging macro-environment, regional banks have reported solid
results during the latest earnings seasons. Last Friday, First Horizon
National Corporation (NYSE: FHN) reported a 16% jump in its quarterly profit.
On Tuesday, Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) became the latest regional bank
to report strong earnings report. StockCall analysts have issued technical
research report on Regions Financial and First Horizon National, and these
free reports can be downloaded at http://www.stockcall.com/analysis

Demand for Business Loans Helping Regional Banks

With interest rates continuing to remain low and U.S. consumers still
de-leveraging, the operating environment for regional banks remains
challenging. However, increasing demand for loans from businesses, especially
middle market companies, has helped regional banks offset some of the impact
from the macro environment.

Regional banks have been making more loans to businesses. This trend continued
in the fourth quarter of 2012 as well and has helped regional banks post solid
results.

First Horizon's Profit Jumps 16%

Last Friday, Memphis, Tennessee-based regional bank, First Horizon National
Corp. reported a 16% increase in its fourth quarter profit, driven by lower
costs, which offset the decline in revenue. First Horizon reported a profit of
$40.7 million, or $0.17 per share for the quarter, up from $34.9 million, or
$0.13 per share reported for the same period in the previous year. Sign up for
the complete free analyst report on First Horizon at
http://www.StockCall.com/FHN012413.pdf

While net interest income fell 5%, non-interest income dropped 16% during the
quarter. However, this was offset by a 13% drop in non-interest expense.

During 2012, First Horizon continued to see an improvement in its asset
quality, with its non-performing assets falling 20% and net-charge offs
falling 43% from 2011. The bank's capital ratios were also strong during the
year.

Bryan Jordan, Chairman and CEO of First Horizon, noted that the bank executed
on some tough actions in 2012 to position itself for long-term success.

Regions Swings to a Profit on Q4

Regions Financial Corp. [ Free Report on RF ] ^[ ^1 ^] , the holding company
for Regions Bank, on Tuesday, announced that it swung to a profit in its
fourth quarter, driven by continued growth in middle market commercial and
industrial and indirect auto lending.

During the fourth quarter, Regions Financial saw continued growth in
commercial and industrial loans, particularly in loans to middle market
companies. Average loans in the category rose 8.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Robust growth in the indirect auto loan production also helped Regions
Financial fourth quarter results. The strong performance in the two categories
helped in partially offsetting expected declines in real estate and ongoing
de-leveraging from commercial and individual clients.

For the fourth quarter, Regions Financial reported net income of $261 million,
or $0.18 per share, compared to a loss of $602 million, or $0.48 per share
reported for the same period in the previous year. Excluding one-time items,
earnings for the fourth quarter were $0.22 per share.

Commercial and Industrial Loans Growth Expected to Continue in 2013

The growth in commercial and industrial loans, which helped regional banks in
2012, is expected to continue in 2013. However, the first half of 2013 is
likely to be challenging for regional banks as businesses are expected to
remain cautious due to the ongoing concerns over the debt ceiling issue.

Footer:

 1. Regions Financial Corp. Technical Analysis [
    http://www.StockCall.com/RegionsFinancialCorp012413.pdf ]

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