|By Marketwire .||
|March 6, 2013 08:20 AM EST||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/06/13 -- The U.S. Banking Industry has benefited from a slowly, but steadily improving economy over the past few years. Recent data has shown that U.S. banks posted their second highest earnings on record in 2012. The SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) and the SPDR KBW Bank ETF (KBE) over the past year have posted gains of 15 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Industry and provides equity research on First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE: FHN) and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY).
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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that 2012 full year earnings for U.S. banks totaled $141.3 billion, an increase of $22.9 billion (19.3 percent) when compared to a year ago. Earnings for U.S. banks reached their peak in 2006 with $145.2 billion. The earnings growth in 2012 was largely attributed to a decrease in capital set aside for loan losses, the FDIC stated. Earnings for the fourth quarter grew 36.9 percent year-over-year to $34.7 billion.
"On the positive side, income has been rising for more than three years; asset quality has been improving for more than two years; and for over a year, banks have been lending more in support of a recovering U.S. economy," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in a statement.
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Shares of First Horizon National have gained approximately 15 percent over the past year. The company reported a net income of $41 million, and earnings per share of $0.17 for the fourth quarter of 2012. "We executed on some tough actions in 2012 to position our company for long-term success, and we're energized as we enter 2013. This should be a good year for us," said Bryan Jordan, First Horizon chairman and CEO.
One of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $89.2 billion as of December 31, 2012. The company recently agreed to sell its investment management subsidiary, Victory Capital Management, and its affiliate for $246 million in cash and debt. Keycorp has announced they will release first quarter 2013 earnings on Thursday, April 18th.
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