3 Stocks Watched By Invesors and Traders Prior to Earnings Releases

Regions Financial Corp (NYSE:RF) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 7 cents per share, a rise of more than twofold from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 5 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has risen during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit of 19 cents per share versus a loss of 46 cents last year.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 4 cents, reporting net income of 8 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 4 cents per share. On average, analysts predict $1.58 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 24.4% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $6.51 billion for the year, a decline of 6.5% from last year’s revenue of $6.96 billion.

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).

Total System Services (NYSE:TSS) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 31 cents per share, a rise of 29.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 30 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 31 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.15 per share, a rise of 27.8% from last year.

The company is looking to top estimates for the third straight quarter. Last quarter, it reported profit of 30 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 28 cents, and the quarter before, the company exceeded forecasts by one cent with profit of 28 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 27 cents. On average, analysts predict $450.3 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 2.4% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $1.75 billion for the year, a rise of 1.7% from last year’s revenue of $1.72 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE:MA), Cass Information Systems (NASDAQ:CASS), NetSpend Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:NTSP), Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), MoneyGram Intl., Inc. (NYSE:MGI), ACI Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ:ACIW), Banks.com Inc (AMEX:BNX), and Intl. Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM).

KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 20 cents per share, a decline of 39.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 89.4% versus last year to 89 cents.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 3 cents, reporting profit of 24 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 21 cents per share. Analysts are projecting a decline of 13.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1 billion.

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).