Regions Financial Corporation Stock Hold 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 hold with a ratings score of C . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

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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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. 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 94.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $155.00 million to $301.00 million.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 214.28% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 85.79% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,178.00 million or 33.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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. Regions Financial has a market cap of $9.35 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 55.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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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