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Regions posts fourth-quarter net loss of $548M

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Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) reported a $548 million net loss in the fourth quarter, a 716 percent drop compared to earnings of $89 million in the same quarter of 2010.

The company recorded an 11-cent loss per diluted share during the quarter, compared to 1-cent earnings in the prior quarter, according to a news release.

Fourth-quarter highlights:
  • The company incurred a $731 million noncash goodwill impairment charge via its investment banking/brokerage/trust segment, including $478 million related to discontinued operations and $253 million from continuing operations.
  • Provision for loan losses was $295 million, down from $682 million in the same quarter of 2010.
  • Nonperforming loans, excluding loans held for sale, declined for the seventh straight quarter.
Regions also posted a net loss of $215 million for the year ended Dec. 31, but it increased its bottom line by 60 percent compared to a net loss of $539 million in 2010.

With the start of the new fiscal year, Regions on Jan. 11 entered into a $930 million stock purchase agreement to sell Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. to Florida-based Raymond James Financial Inc. As part of the agreement, Memphis, Tenn.-based Morgan Keegan, Regions' securities brokerage arm, paid Regions a dividend of $250 million, resulting in total proceeds of $1.18 billion, according to a separate news release.

As of Dec. 31, Regions, which operates roughly 1,700 branches in 16 states, had $127 billion in assets.  

The company's shares were trading at $5.17 as of 10:25 a.m., compared to its 52-week range of $2.82 to $8.09. Its low point came at the beginning of the fourth quarter, on Oct. 4, while its high point was set Feb. 11.[[In-content Ad]]

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