2 Financial Stocks Climbing Higher After Earnings Reports

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) also came in short of analyst estimates. Reported a loss of $548 million (48 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The Southeast regional bank had net income of $89 million or 4 cents per share in the year earlier quarter. RF reported an adjusted net loss of 11 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 7 cents per share.

“Despite a continued challenging economic and legislative environment in 2011 we were able to stay focused on our business plan and deliver solid results.” said Grayson Hall, president and chief executive officer. “We improved our fundamentals, profitably grew our customer base, further de-risked our balance sheet, and took actions that better position us for the future. While the economic outlook in 2012 is likely to present its challenges, I am confident that we will continue to make progress to benefit our shareholders, associates and customers.”

Competitors to Watch: SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI), Pinnacle Financial Partners (NASDAQ:PNFP), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Cadence Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CADE), KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY), PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE:BXS), Trustmark Corporation (NASDAQ:TRMK), and BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT).

KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the money center banks company fell to $200 million (20 cents per share) vs. $320 million (31 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 37.5% from the year earlier quarter. KEY reported adjusted net income of 21 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 20 cents per share.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Beth Mooney stated, “Key’s fourth quarter results reflect continued improvement in credit quality and the third consecutive quarter of growth in our commercial, financial and agricultural loan portfolio. We are encouraged by this growth and believe it demonstrates our ability to leverage the alignment of our franchise across business lines to support the needs of our clients. Further, these results confirm our belief that the inflection point for loan growth was reached in the third quarter of 2011.”

Competitors to Watch: Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE:RF), Northrim BanCorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NRIM), Pacific Continental Corp. (NASDAQ:PCBK), and Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com