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5 Bank Stocks That Could Jump on 2012 M&A (Update 1)

3.Regions Financial

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Shares of Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions Financial (RF - Get Report) have shed more than 40% in 2011 year-to-date.

Regions Financial has $129.76 billion in total assets and total deposits of $95.94 billion. It has 1,722 branches across South, Midwest and Texas.

Regions is the among the few big banks yet to redeem TARP money to the government. It has a Basel Tier 1 Capital of 8.2%, which is lower relative to peers. It also has been lagging in the credit recovery cycle with non-performing asset inflows jumping in the third quarter.

Regions might come up short in the Fed's stress test in 2012, according to KBW analysts. The bank is expected to engage in asset sales to improve capital ratios and might even have to raise capital of upto $1.7 billion, KBW said in a recent report. That means investors can forget about dividend increases or buybacks.

Regions Financial CEO told investors at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference that the bank had run its own stress tests and found no surprises in its loan portfolio.

The bank has said it is putting up broker-dealer unit Morgan Keegan for sale but challenging market conditions made the sale more complex and slowed the process.

Only four out of 27 analysts rate the stock a buy or outperform. 20 analysts have a hold rating while 3 have an underperform or sell rating.

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