NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -01/23/12)- Regional Banks in the U.S. have performed strongly of late. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal regional banks benefitted from an improved lending climate in the fourth quarter as the national economy continues to gain strength. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Regional Banking Sector and provides equity research on Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF - News) and Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Second Curve Capital LLC's Thomas Brown explains that it is "much more easy" for smaller regional banks to control their business. Brown told Bloomberg that one of the key positives for banks in 2012, big and small, will be significant increases in common-stock dividends. The Federal Reserve explained that it will approve dividend increases and other capital distributions for banks that demonstrate sufficient financial strength to operate under stressed markets.
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Last week, Huntington Bancshares Inc. said its fourth-quarter profit rose as the bank increased lending to businesses and set aside less money for problem loans. For the full year 2011, Huntington posted a profit attributable to common shareholders of $511.8 million, or 59 cents per share, compared with $140.3 million, or 19 cents per share, the year before. The company's board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on April 2 to shareholders of record as of March 19.
For 2012, Huntington Bancshares expects to see "modest improvement" in net interest income from its fourth-quarter level, according to its earnings statement.
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- Huntington Bancshares
- Regions Financial Corporation