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KeyCorp: Financial Winner

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) was the winner among the nation's largest banks on Monday, with shares rising 3% to close at $12.37.

The broad indices ended mixed, with market strategists saying investors were still reacting positively to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress last week, saying the central banks' "highly accommodative" monetary policy would remain appropriate for some time to come.

The National Association of Realtors on Monday said U.S. home sales during June declined 1.2% during June from their pace in May, but that sales at an annual pace of $5.08 million were still 15.2% higher than a year earlier. The trade group also said home prices continued to rise because of tight inventory.

The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was up 1% to close at 66.70, with all but one of the 24 index components rising for the session.

KeyCorp

KeyCorp of Cleveland on Thursday reported second-quarter net income from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders of $193 million, 21 cents a share, compared to $196 million, or 21 cents a share in the first quarter, and $217 million, or 23 cents a share, during the second quarter of 2012.

The second-quarter results included $37 million, or 3 cents a share, in charges related to the company's expense reduction initiative. KeyCorp said it had achieved annualized cost savings of roughly $171 million through its "Fit for Growth" efficiency program.

Cost-cutting continued to be the major theme for KeyCorp, and the bank's second-quarter noninterest expense -- excluding the $37 million in extraordinary costs -- totaled $674 million, declining from $681 million the previous quarter and $693 million a year earlier.

Oppenheimer analyst Terry McEvoy rates KeyCorp "outperform," with a 12-to-18-month price target of $13, and in a note to clients on Thursday wrote "Management's success on reducing expenses above our forecast supports the view that sentiment on Key is improving, as investors reassess the prospects from more consistent growth led by a management team that is proving to being more disciplined on multiple fronts."

"Key is executing a strategy aiming to create a less volatile, lower risk revenue stream, and we are already starting to see positive trends within certain businesses," McEvoy added.

The analyst estimates the company will earn 88 cents a share for all of 2014, with EPS rising to a dollar in 2014.

KEY Chart KEY data by YCharts

Interested in more on KeyCorp? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>Contact by Email.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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