First Niagara Financial Group Earnings: What to Watch For

Earnings season is here once again. We're only a few days in, but we have already seen some impressive numbers from banking behemoths JPMorgan Chase, (NYSE: JPM  ) Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , and Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , with Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) releasing earnings yesterday. While these results are important to those of us that follow the banking sector, my interest lies in some of the smaller banks beyond the behemoths.

With that in mind, I turn my attention to a regional bank that will be reporting earnings Friday. Here are some things I will be watching when it comes to the First Niagara Financial Group (Nasdaq: FNFG  ) .

What the Street thinks
The majority of analysts are expecting an increase in revenue and a decrease in earnings from the same quarter last year, with $366 million in revenue and $0.18 in earnings per share. The past few months have seen some of the bank's directors spending some money on shares of the company, pointing to their optimism that the bank should continue its performance going forward. Only time will tell if their assumption is correct.

Integration of new branches
First Niagara acquired nearly 200 branches from HSBC (NYSE: HBC  ) during the second quarter this year, and though it was required to immediately sell 110 branches to KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY  ) , these branches helped expand the banks operations outside of its upstate New York home. It should start to see an increase to many key metrics, including total deposits, further strengthening the bank going forward.

What else to expect
First Niagara recently cut its dividend, but it is still yielding around 4%. Unfortunately, the bank diluted shareholders by issuing additional shares in order to complete the HSBC branch acquisition, so hopefully we will see a fairly aggressive share repurchase plan coming in the next couple of quarters. Failing that, continued improvement in the balance sheet would be a welcome sight, setting the bank up for further success down the road.

First Niagara is but another opportunity among the crowded sector that is regional banks. In fact some of the best opportunities over the next few years can be found there, including one small, under-the-radar bank. It's been called one of The Stocks Only the Smartest Investors Are Buying. You can learn about it, and more, in our exclusive free report. Just click here to keep reading.

Fool contributor Robert Eberhard has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Follow him on Twitter for his investing insights and random tweets about other things. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, KeyCorp, and Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not 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.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2063866, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2014 9:18:04 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement