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Regions reports 4Q loss of $548 milion

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Regions Financial Corp. (RF) reported a fourth-quarter loss of $548 million, or 48 cents a share, largely driven by a $731 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge A year earlier, Regions earned $89 million, or 3 cents a share. The Birmingham, Ala.-based bank reduced credit costs throughout the year, with its full-year loan loss provision falling 47% from 2010. Total net charge-offs in the fourth quarter declined 37% to $430 million from $682 million a year earlier. Regions also agreed to sell brokerage firm Morgan Keegan & Co. to Raymond James Financial (RJF) for about $930 million during the quarter, resulting in an impairment charge of $478 million to discontinued operations and $253 million to continuing operations. Regions reported solid total loan production for the year as commercial and industrial loans continued to grow. Total loan production for the year increased to $60 billion. Commercial loan production constituted the majority of that total at $51 billion, of which $15 billion was new loan production, a 14% increase over the last year. Non-performing loans, excluding loans held for sale, declined for the seventh straight quarter and were down $338 million or 12% from the third quarter. Inflows of non-performing loans declined to $561 million or 26% from the third quarter. Write to Justin T. Hilley. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHilley.

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