More Earnings; Regions Sees Profits Fall 80 Percent
The parade of bad earnings continued Tuesday, as Regions Financial Corp said that its fourth-quarter net income fell 80 percent as it faced what CEO Dowd Ritter called "an increasingly challenging operating environment." The bank recorded net income of $70.6 million, or $.10 per share, compared with $361.6 million, or $.56 per share, one year earlier. Regions hiked its provision for loan losses to $358 million -- nearly triple the charge recorded for the third quarter. The provision increase comes as charge-offs accelerated to $107.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The charge was largely expected, as the bank had warned in early January of losses in its residential construction portfolio, and cited weakness in both Florida and Atlanta. Residential homebuilder loans represent approximately 8 percent, or $7.2 billion, of Regions' total loan portfolio of $95.4 billion. Regions was trading up over 4 percent to $19.98 in mid-afternoon trading. For more information, visit http://www.regions.com. Disclosure: At time this story was published, the author held no positions in RF.