U.S. Banks Post Best Quarter Since the Financial Crisis

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Fifth Third Bancorp and Regions Financial

Marketwired

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 5, 2012) - U.S. banking stocks have been on an impressive run in 2012. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) profits from U.S. banks in the third quarter were the best seen since the financial crisis. The KBW Bank Index (BKX) has gained 20 percent year-to-date, nearly double the S&P 500 Index's gain of 12 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Banking Industry and provides equity research on Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) and Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF).

Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.ParagonReport.com/FITB

www.ParagonReport.com/RF

The KBW Bank Index is on pace to best the broader markets for just the third time since 2003. U.S. banks collectively posted a net income of $37.6 billion in the third quarter, which is a 6-year high. Collective revenues in the third quarter grew 3 percent for the year prior, which was the largest gain seen in nearly three years, said the FDIC. This has been the 13th consecutive quarter in which industry profits have increased year-over-year.

"In previous quarters, we have noted that revenue growth has been very sluggish, and most of the improvement in earnings could be traced to lower provisions for loan losses," said FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg in a briefing. "Higher revenue contributed more to the increase in earnings than reduced provisions."

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Fifth Third Bancorp has $117 billion in assets and operates 15 affiliates with 1,325 full-service Banking Centers. The company reported a net income of $363 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to a net income of $381 million in the third quarter of 2011. The bank currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.40 per share for a yield of approximately 2.8 percent.

Regions Financial, with $122 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation's largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage, and insurance products and services. Regions reported a net income of $301 million in third quarter, compared to a net income of $284 million in the year-ago period.

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