Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) today announced earnings for the first quarter of 2014. The company reported net income available to common shareholders of $311 million, an increase of 42 percent over the prior quarter. Earnings per diluted share were $0.22 and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $0.21. A solid start to 2014 In the first quarter, loans and deposits increased and the company’s overall credit profile continued to strengthen. In addition, Regions grew the number of quality households served, with increases in both consumer and business customers. “We are off to a solid start in 2014 and this quarter’s results demonstrate that our focus on identifying and meeting more customer needs is generating steady and sustainable growth,” said Grayson Hall, chairman, president and CEO. “We believe a strong relationship banking model is essential for sustainable revenue growth and we remain focused on controlling expenses and achieving positive operating leverage.” During the first quarter Regions completed the annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review process and received no objection to our planned capital actions, which include increasing the quarterly dividend to $0.05 per share and the repurchase of up to $350 million in common shares. Our board is expected to consider these actions at its meeting on April 24th. If approved, the dividend increase is expected to be effective beginning with the quarterly dividend to be paid in July 2014. Regions' ongoing and robust capital planning process is designed to ensure the efficient use of capital while maintaining a long-term approach to capital allocation and distribution. The company's top priorities for capital deployment are reinvesting in the business through organic loan growth, increasing the company's quarterly common dividend and appropriately returning capital to shareholders through share repurchases. Other considerations include the pursuit of strategic opportunities consistent with the company's risk tolerance.