Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you've come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about Huntington stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.
But before getting to that, a brief introduction is in order. Huntington traces its roots back to 1866. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, it has a network of more than 690 traditional bank branches and "convenience branches" located in grocery stores throughout six Midwestern states: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. And while it offers an array of services, from commercial to mortgage lending, a particular specialty of Huntington's is automobile financing. As its website boasts, "Through automotive dealership relationships within its six-state banking franchise area and selected other Midwest and New England states, Huntington also provides commercial banking services to the automotive dealers and retail automobile financing for dealer customers."
As you can see in the table above, Huntington's biggest strength is its management of credit risk. With a non-performing loans ratio of 1%, the bank beat the industry average by an impressive 84 basis points. This wasn't always the case. In 2008 and 2009, for example, its NPL ratio shot up to 3.7% and 5.2%, respectively, thanks to Huntington's ill-timed acquisition of Sky Financial in 2007 -- the latter made loans to, among others, a consumer finance company with a large portfolio of subprime mortgages. Huntington was able to put this decision behind it with a $2.6 billion charge-off in 2009 and the contemporaneous hiring of a new CEO.
On the other hand, Huntington's biggest weakness is its net interest margin, which comes in almost 30 basis points below average thanks to the bank's notoriously low-yielding securities portfolio. There is, however, an upside here. As Huntington's chief financial officer explained on the last conference call, "we try to keep the duration fairly short there. And so we think we will have less falloff from our current yield there than many of our peers as well, which will be a relative benefit for us compared to our peers."
John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Huntington Bancshares. 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.