Zions Bancorporation Earnings: Swung to a Profit

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation provides a full range of banking and related services through its banking and other subsidiaries.

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Zions Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Reported a profit of $89 million (24 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The bank had a net loss of $72.2 million or a loss of 62 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ZION reported adjusted net income of 30 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 33 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “We are again pleased with the significant improvement in credit quality this quarter, which we expect to continue and to result in lower net charge-offs in 2012,” said Harris H. Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Simmons continued, “We also are pleased with the somewhat stronger loan growth this quarter and with signs of strengthening loan pipelines, particularly for business loans. Revenue growth was a challenge for us, as it was for the whole industry, in 2011.”

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 3 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 17 cents.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from 33 cents a share to 34 cents over the last seven days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is 91 cents per share, a rise from 88 cents ninety days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), CoBiz Financial Inc (NASDAQ:COBZ), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), First State Bancorp., NM (FSNM), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), TCF Financial Corporation (NYSE:TCB), Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).

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(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