Regions Financial Corp Earnings: Reversing to a Loss Following Two Consecutive Quarters of Profit

On top of dropping to a loss in the fourth quarter, S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) also came in short of analyst estimates. Regions Financial provides a range of banking and bank-related services to individual and corporate customers through its subsidiaries.

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

Regions Financial Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: 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.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: 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.

Quoting Management: “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.”

Key Stats:

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 4 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 4 cents.

The company’s loss in the latest quarter follows profits in the previous three quarters. The company reported a profit of $155 million in the third quarter, a profit of $109 million in the second quarter and $69 million in the first.

Looking Forward: The outlook for the company’s results in the upcoming quarter is unfavorable. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is 6 cents per share, down from 7 cents ninety days ago. The average estimate for the fiscal year is 19 cents per share, a rise from 14 cents ninety days ago.

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).

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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