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Regions Financial: Another Bank Earnings Loser

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Regions Financial (RF) was the loser among the largest U.S. financial companies on Tuesday, with shares sliding 8% to close at $6.54.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 243 points to close at 13,102.61, while the S&P 500 (SPX.X) was down 20.7 points to close at 1,413.12, and the NASDAQ Composite pulled back 1%, after the disappointing third-quarter earnings reports continued.

Shares of du Pont (DD) dropped 9% to close at $45.25, after the diversified industrial company reported third-quarter earnings of $10 million, or a penny a share, declining from $452 million, or 48 cents a share, during the third quarter of 2011. The company said that "earnings from continuing operations, excluding significant items, were $.32 per share versus $.60 per share in the prior year."

Du Pont reported third-quarter net sales of $7.4 billion, declining from $8.1 billion a year earlier, "primarily reflecting volume declines in Electronics & Communications and Performance Chemicals, particularly in Asia Pacific."

The company also announced a restructuring plan, expected to "deliver pre-tax cost savings of about $450 million ($300 million in 2013) by eliminating corporate costs supporting Performance Coatings and taking additional cost-cutting actions to improve competitiveness." The actions will include 1,500 employee layoffs "globally in the next 12-18 months."

Du Pont also said it expected full year earnings from continuing operations ranging from $3.25 to $3.30 a share for all of 2012. CEO Ellen Kullman said that "continuing macroeconomic uncertainty and resulting slowing demand in certain sectors are reminders of why agility and productivity must be a way of life."

Turning to the financials, the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) fell 2% to close at 49.55, with all but three of the 24 index components showing declines for the session.

Regions Surprises


Regions Financial of Birmingham, Ala., reported third-quarter net earnings from continuing operations available to common shareholders of $312 million, or 22 cents a share, increasing from $280 million, or 20 cents a share, the previous quarter, and $87 million, or seven cents a share, during the third quarter of 2011.

The third-quarter results beat the consensus estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by a penny, as mortgage banking income grew to $106 million, from $90 million the previous quarter, and $68 million a year earlier, however, investors were surprised to see the company's net interest margin decline by eight basis points from the previous quarter, to 3.08%.

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