8. Zions Bancorp ( ZION) is a financial holding company operating eight different banks. Through its 500 branches, it provides banking services for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals. Most of its $55 billion assets are in the economically hard-hit states of Utah, California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Zions has about 50% of its $40 billion loan book in commercial lending operations, 30% in commercial real estate, and 20% in consumer loans. It lost $80 million, or 47 cents a share in the third quarter, but that's an improvement from the $135 million loss in the second quarter. Outlook: Regional-bank stocks have been boosted in recent weeks by merger speculation and Zions is no exception, gaining 26% in the past month. Analysts are cautious about its prospects. Seven have it rated "strong buy," six "buy," 18 "hold," three "underperform" and one "sell," according to First Call/Thomson Financial. Their mean price target is $24.59.