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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SunTrust Banks, Capital One, Fifth Third Bancorp and Regions Financial

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – Jan 30, 2018 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include SunTrust Banks STI, Capital One (COF - Free Report) , Fifth Third Bancorp FITB and Regions Financial RF.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Bank Stock Roundup: Sweeping Up Q4 Earnings

Most banks that reported fourth-quarter 2017 results last week managed to record bottom-line improvement on top-line strength. This also led to positive price movement for most bank stocks over the last six trading days.

In addition to the benefits from higher interest rates, the results mirrored a marginal upswing in loans driven primarily by consumer loans. Moreover, eased margin pressure acted favorably. Further, the rise in deposit balances helped steer the banks’ organic growth.

However, mortgage banking business remained weak. Also, though banks recorded significant one-time charge related to the tax overhaul, legal expenses remained under control. Additionally, expected future benefits of the tax reform kept investors optimistic.

(Read: Bank Stock Roundup for the week ending Jan 19, 2018)

Important Earnings of the Week

1. SunTrust Banks' fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.09 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.05. Also, the figure was up 21% year over year. Results were primarily driven by a rise in revenues (supported by higher interest rates), stable adjusted expenses and lower provision for credit losses. In addition, improving asset quality was a tailwind.

Nevertheless, a decline in loan and deposit balances was the undermining factor. After considering one-time discrete gains, including tax reform-related benefit, net income available to common shareholders was $710 million, up 58% from the prior-year quarter. (Read more: SunTrust Beats on Q4 Earnings as Revenues Improve)

2. Capital One’s fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.62 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.83. However, the figure compared favorably with the year-ago quarter’s earnings of $1.58. Results benefited from a rise in revenues and easing margin pressure. Also, the quarter witnessed a rise in loan and deposit balances.

An increase in provisions and expenses were the undermining factors. After taking into consideration charges related to the tax act and other non-recurring items, net loss for the quarter was $971 million or $2.17 per share. (Read more: Capital One Q4 Earnings Miss, Costs Up)

3. Fifth Third Bancorp reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share of 52 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents. The adjusted figure excludes the impact of tax legislation, gain on the sale of Vantiv shares and charge related to the valuation of the Visa total return swap. Results reflect increase in net interest income with strong capital position as a tailwind.

However, lower non-interest income and increase in provisions for loan losses were the undermining factors. After considering the impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and non-recurring items, net income available to common shareholders came in at $486 million or 67 cents per share. (Read more: Fifth Third Beats on Q4 Earnings, Fee Income Declines)

4. Driven by top-line strength, Regions Financial recorded an impressive earnings surprise of 3.8% in fourth-quarter 2017. Reported earnings of 27 cents per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents. Furthermore, results compared favorably with the year-earlier quarter’s earnings of 23 cents. Results included certain one-time items of 7 cents per share. Easing margin pressure and higher revenues were the positive factors. Moreover, credit quality recorded significant improvement.

Nevertheless, lower loans and deposits balance were the undermining factors. In addition, expenses escalated. (Read more: Regions Financial's Q4 Earnings Beat on High Revenues)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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