Huntington Bancshares

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In the regional banking sector, insiders seem to love Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), which provides full-service commercial, small business, consumer banking services, mortgage banking services, automobile financing, equipment leasing, investment management, trust services, brokerage services and customized insurance programs. Insiders are hitting on the bid on this stock into some impressive strength, with shares up over 21% so far in 2012.

Huntington Bancshares has a market cap of $5.76 billion and an enterprise value of $8.45 billion. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 10.74 and a forward price-to-earnings of 10.09. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 6.8%, and for next year it's pegged at 4.3%. This is far from a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $1.32 billion and its total debt is $4.11 billion.

The CEO and president just bought 18,150 shares, or $117,000 worth of stock, at $6.42 per share.

From a technical perspective, HBAN is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the past six months, with shares moving higher from a low of $4.59 to Wednesday's high of $6.68 a share. The action in this stock on Wednesday was very bullish since HBAN broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $6.58 on monster volume. Volume registered 17.09 million shares traded versus its three-month average action of 13.38 million.

If you're bullish on HBAN, I would now be looking for long-biased trades as long as the stock is trending above $6.58 to $6.68 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider upside volume near or above 13.38 million shares as bullish. If HBAN can hold this recent breakout, then this should easily hit its 2011 high of $7.52 a share and potentially tag $8 to $9 a share in the near future. I would simply avoid this stock from the long side if it moves back below its 50-day moving average of $6.18 on heavy volume.

Huntington Bancshares shows up on a recent list of 5 Bank Earnings Winners From Jefferies.

To see more stocks with notable insider buying, including Zep (ZEP), Pendrell (PCO) and Bank of The Ozarks (OZRK), check out the Stocks With Big Insider Buying portfolio on Stockpickr.


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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to and maintains the website, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.

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