2011: A Turnaround Year for Huntington Bancshares

As 2011 draws to a close, it's crucial for us to take a peek at our investments to see what's working and what's not.

That's what we aim to do today, as we consider the year that was at Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN  ) .

A few Foolish facts about Huntington

Year-to-Date Stock Return (23%)
P/E 11.0
Dividend Yield 3%
1-Year Revenue Growth 115%
1-Year Earnings-Per-Share Growth N/A*
CAPS Rating (out of 5) ***

Data from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ, and Motley Fool CAPS.
*Earnings during the comparable period were negative.

What happened at Huntington this year?
Huntington's stock has been getting whipsawed over recent years, falling from $25 at the end of 2006 to just $1 in the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, before jumping 90% in 2010 and slipping once more last year.

Though the financial sector has emerged from the abyss of crisis, the economic crisis hasn't been especially kind to banks. Lending opportunities have dried up, while tightened regulation on the heels of the financial system's collapse have crimped fee income. Though they've improved somewhat, bad loan levels remain high at institutions such as Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP  ) and Synovus (NYSE: SNV  ) , while credit quality has approached more normal levels at many regional banks such as Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB  ) , BB&T (NYSE: BBT  ) , and M&T (NYSE: MTB  ) .

Among regionals, Huntington has had one of the most dramatic turnarounds in its credit quality. Non-performing loans fell from 5.2% of total loans back in 2009 to just 1.4% today, which has allowed the bank to steadily reduce its provisions for loan losses. Net revenue spiked 115% to a record $2.4 billion and net income surged to a record $538.7 million on the back of reduced provisioning and fewer losses on bad loans.

Onward!
Despite its stock decline, 2011 was the continuation of the turnaround at Huntington. The next trick will be to see whether the bank is able to grow its income in a challenging 2012 environment.

I think Huntington is showing the signs of a banking turnaround, but our analysts have selected a different stock that they believe is poised for tremendous growth in 2012. Find out which company in our new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." Thousands have already requested access and it'll only be available for a limited time. Get it while you can -- it's free.

Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Fifth Third Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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