NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 22, 2013) - Strong earnings from regional banks have helped them outperform their larger counterparts in recent weeks. The SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) has gained 2.25 percent in the past week, while the broader SPDR KBW Bank ETF (KBE) has gained 1.45 percent over the same period. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Regional Banking Industry and provides equity research on BB&T Corporation (
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Loan growth has been a key driver for regional banks' earnings in recent quarters. An increased number of smaller business loans helped regional banks offset the low spreads and profit margins the larger banks face. Another key factor for growth has been the recent refinancing boom.
"We've benefited from a refinancing boom and that has augmented our results fairly significantly," said Dan Poston, Fifth Third's chief financial officer. "The bigger banks have more onerous regulatory concerns, whether that's the capital they are required to hold, or new regulations that impact their trading or derivatives books."
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BB&T Corporation is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $182.0 billion in assets and market capitalization of $23.2 billion, as of Sept. 30, 2012. The company reported earnings of $506 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 29 percent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
SunTrust Banks is one of the nation's largest banking organizations. As of September 30, 2012, SunTrust had total assets of $173.2 billion and total deposits of $127.2 billion. For the full year 2012, the company reported earnings per share of $3.59, nearly four-times the $0.94 per share seen in 2011. Shares of SunTrust have gained over 35 percent in the past year.
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