Here's proof that I don't like every bank I review these days. Shares of Cleveland's NationalCity
The fourth quarter was a rough one for this Midwestern regional bank. Net income (adjusting for charges and gains) slipped slightly from last year's level, as modest performance in non-interest income couldn't offset fairly weak results on the net interest income line. While the various charges and gains make it a little more difficult to calculate "clean" results for return on assets and the like, the return on assets and equity doesn't seem too inspiring at this point.
I don't really see much good news on the balance sheet, either. Average loan balances were up about 7% from the year-ago quarter, but down sequentially. The deposit picture was even less impressive; average core deposits were just about flat from the year-ago period, and down a bit sequentially, and the company increased its average balances of purchased deposits by about 10% year over year. In most (but not all) cases, large purchased deposits are a more expensive source of capital.
If you want more sourness, read on. National City is one of the ten largest mortgage originators in the country, and higher rates suggest that won't be such a great business this year. What's more, a lot of National City's business is in slower-growing, manufacturing-heavy states, and it faces heavy competition from the likes of fellow Motley Fool Income Investor pick U.S. Bancorp
All is not lost, though. Management does seem focused on creating shareholder value, and there are several initiatives under way to improve cross-selling, risk management, operating efficiency, and overall customer growth. Still, for me at least, National City doesn't seem like the kind of place I'd want to call home.
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National City is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation.
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).