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5 Regional Bank Earnings to Watch

2. Huntington Bancshares

Huntington Bancshares of Columbus, Ohio, has seen its stock return 16% year-to-date, through Tuesday's close at $6.35. During 2011, the shares declined 19%. Based on a quarterly payout of four cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.52%.

The shares trade for 10 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of 64 cents.

The company announced on March 14 that had authorized $182 million worth of common stock buybacks through the first quarter of 2013.

Huntington will report its first-quarter results on April 18. The consensus first-quarter EPS estimate is 14 cents, matching the company's results for the fourth quarter and also for the first quarter of 2011.

The company's fourth-quarter earnings applicable to common shareholders of $119.2 million were boosted by a $45 million reserve release.

During the fourth quarter, Huntington bucked the industry trend, with a net interest margin expanding to 3.38% from 3.34% in the third quarter and 3.37% in the fourth quarter of 2010, which CEO Stephen Stienour said reflected a "continued focus on fundamentally changing our deposit mix and driving down the overall cost of funds." The CEO added that Huntington's auto loan originations had expanded into Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Average commercial and industrial loan balances grew 4% during the fourth quarter, to $14.2 billion, while average residential mortgages grew 5% to $5.0 billion, and home equity loans grew by 2% to $8.1 billion.

Guggenheim Securities analyst Jeff Davis has a neutral rating on Huntington, with a $6.50 price target, and said on March 14 that the company's buyback was "modestly higher than the $150 million we had modeled over the next four quarters, approximates 37% of net income we are projecting for 2Q12-1Q13 and 39% net of preferred dividends."

Davis matches the 14-cent first-quarter earnings consensus for Huntington, and estimates the company will earn 57 cents a share for all of 2012, followed by 2013 EPS of 60 cents.

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