Magazine article American Banker

Regions Financial Says Profit Increased 17% in 1st Quarter

Magazine article American Banker

Regions Financial Says Profit Increased 17% in 1st Quarter

Article excerpt

Benefiting from a strong regional economy and a multistate expansion campaign, first-quarter profits at Regions Financial Corp. jumped 17%, to $136 million.

Total loans at the Birmingham, Ala., banking company grew 10%, to $25.5 billion, and deposits grew 6%, to $29.1 billion. Revenues rose 14%, to $502.5 million.

Earnings per share of 61 cents matched the Wall Street consensus.

Carl E. Jones Jr., Regions' president and chief executive officer, pointed to the company's improved efficiency ratio-52.25% in the quarter, compared with 54.93% a year earlier-and its 18.13% return on equity, a 134- basis-point improvement. "The year is off to a great start," he said.

Record mortgage production and double-digit increases in account service charges boosted noninterest revenues 32%, to $143 million.

Mortgages originated by the bank during the quarter doubled from the year earlier, to $1.8 billion. And revenues from service charges jumped 11%, to $44.8 million.

The bank attributed the gains to robust growth in the Southeast.

Analyst Harold R. Schroeder of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. said mortgage banking, particularly in the South, "has been the business to be in" because of the booming economy.

The $38.6 billion-asset company completed four acquisitions during the quarter, adding a total of $644 million of assets, $433 million of loans, and $573 million of deposits.

Regions bought Meigs County Bancshares in Decatur, Tenn. …

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