NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Regions Financial (RF - Get Report) shares rose in early trading Tuesday after first quarter earnings beat estimates by a penny as bad loans cost the bank less than analysts expected.
Shares were up 1.36% to $10.42 less than an hour after the open.
Regions earned $319 million in the first quarter or 20 cents per share excluding unusual items. Its loan loss provision was just $2 million in the quarter, compared to $10 million in the first quarter of 2013. KBW analyst Chris Mutascio had estimated KBW would set aside $32 million for bad loans this quarter.
In brief notes following the earnings release, both Mutascio, who has a "market perform" rating on the stock and Jefferies & Co's Ken Usdin who has a "buy" rating, noted weak fee income during the quarter.Particularly weak were capital markets fees, according to Usdin's note. They fell to $13 million in the first quarter versus $29 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 in what Usdin attributed to "a slowdown in sales activity for syndications and customer derivatives." Usdin expects management commentary around the outlook for capital markets fees to be important on the call scheduled for 11 a.m. EST.
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