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Comerica Incorporated : Technical Research on Zions and Comerica: Regional Banks Focus on Efficiency more than Size

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02/13/2013 | 02:05pm CET

LONDON, February 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Regional banks, such as Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) which is a Pacific-based regional bank and Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) a more Midwest focused one, offers many competitive advantages to national banks. Since they are more tied in to the economics of the local markets, they offer shareholders a more focused diversification. This means, their coverage is much more specific, so when one buys into a regional bank, one knows where he is buying into. However, for national banks, one does not know what country or sector the bank is exposed to, so the diversification is uncertain. StockCall has posted free technical research reports on Zions Bancorp. and Comerica, and these can be accessed by signing up at


Regional v/s National Banks

In the last five years, regional banks as a whole have performed much better than national banks as can be seen by the relative performances of ETFs focusing solely on regional banks as opposed to those comprising national banks. Throughout these years, their lower exposure to Europe, their loyal customer-base and their focus on core efficiencies have helped these regional banks perform extremely well despite the downturn. However, in the ensuing low-interest rate scenario, they may perform less robustly due to a lack of economies of scale compared to national banks.

Zions Earnings Review

Last month, ZION released earnings for the last quarter. For common shareholders, net income applicable was $35.6 million, or $0.19 per diluted common share, for the quarter, according to the earnings call. The company stated that their net quarterly charge-off ratio was 0.2%, which is comparable to what they had for the whole of 2007. The company's non-performing asset ratio dropped below 2% which shows that the bank is focusing on increasing its core competencies and performing segments. Download the free report on Zions Bancorp. upon registration at


ZION's net income showed a slight decline of 2% compared to the last quarter, or about $8 million. This is in-line with the guidance provided by Zions in November. The company last week declared a $0.01 per share dividend for the quarter, which is the same as the dividend announced in the last quarter.

Comerica, a Strong Regional Bank

Comerica reported decent earnings last month. Its Q4 EPS was at $0.68, beating street's estimates by 2 cents, and last quarter EPS by 7 cents. Net income stood at $130 million, $13 million more than the previous quarter. The company reported that the increase in net income to the tune of 11% was a product of various factors, such as expense control and various positive cost-cutting measures in-line with the economic scenario. More importantly, this was a result of loan and fee income growth in the preceding quarter. Comerica Inc. technical report can be accessed for free by signing up at


Comerica also acquired Sterling Bancshares in July of last year in a stock-for-stock transaction. The acquisition helped Comerica extend its network across Sterling's customer-base, although ATMs will continue to operate under the latter's banner. Comerica, with a market cap of about $6.58 billion, is currently trading at $35.06, and has a 52 week range of $27.46 - $35.40.

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