Regions Financial Rises After Earnings Beat Estimate

Regions Financial shares were higher after the bank reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
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Shares of Regions Financial  (RF) - Get Report were higher after the bank reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

The Birmingham, Ala., bank, one of the Southeast’s largest lenders with $145 billion of assets, posted earnings of 52 cents a share, up 33% from 39 cents in the year-earlier quarter. The latest figure came in ahead of the 33-cent consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks. 

The bank reported profit of $501 million, up from $385 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue grew 10% to $1.64 billion from $1.49 billion.

Net interest income – revenue from interest on loans -- rose 5% from a year earlier, while the net interest margin – the difference between what a bank takes in on loans and pays out on deposits -- narrowed 0.31 percentage point.

Regions said its net interest income “was supported by higher loan balances attributable to the company's Ascentium Capital equipment-finance acquisition, [Payroll Protection Program] loans, and strong mortgage production as well as strong deposit growth.

But “elevated liquidity in the form of lower-returning assets such as excess cash held at the Federal Reserve and PPP loans” shrank the net interest margin, the bank said.

President and Chief Executive John Turner, in a statement, called the results strong "during a period of continued uncertainty." 

The bank "[stayed] focused on meeting customer needs, controlling expenses and proactively managing both credit risk and interest rate risk."  

Turner added: "We generated our highest adjusted pretax preprovision income in over a decade while improving our adjusted efficiency ratio to its lowest level since 2008."

Total average deposit balance increased by 24% to $116.65 billion from $94.05 billion in the year-ago period. 

Average balances in the business lending portfolio increased 13% to $59.5 billion from $52.4 billion, led by growth in commercial and industrial loans. 

Shares of Regions at last check were up 6% to $13.08.