NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BMO Capital initiated coverage of Huntington Bancshares (HBAN - Get Report) with a "market perform" rating and price target of $12 this morning.

Huntington is a bank based in Columbus with 775 branches mostly in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and western Pennsylvania. Huntington also operates in the auto financing sector.

The bank has $69 billion in assets and $49 billion in deposits. BMO estimates earnings of 86 cents per share for 2015 and 90 cents for 2016.

"We have a positive bias toward the story as we believe revenue growth will be driven by a favorable outlook for auto sales and various levers for fee income growth; but, we simply see better investment opportunities within the regional space today," BMO said in a note.

Shares of Huntington were up 0.23% to $10.86 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES (HBAN) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES has improved earnings per share by 21.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past two years indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate the company beginning to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES increased its bottom line by earning $0.73 versus $0.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.85 versus $0.73).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 19.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $164.62 million to $196.21 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES is currently very high, coming in at 92.67%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 24.17% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HBAN Ratings Report