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Regions Financial Corporation Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (RF)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.02 versus -$0.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.74 versus -$0.02).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 225.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $109.00 million to $355.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 87.80%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.80% is above that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 900.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 109.91% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 16.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

Regions Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Regions Bank that provides a range of commercial, retail, and mortgage banking services in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Regions Financial has a market cap of $10.05 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 67% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Regions Financial Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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