As a general rule, investors like firms that get "bigger and better." But judging from the reaction to today's news from banker and Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation First Horizon National
Struggling along with the rest of the banking industry these days, First Horizon has decided to retrench in its home market of Tennessee, and "focus capital on businesses that are creating higher returns." To make this happen, First Horizon has successfully negotiated the sale of all 34 of its First Horizon Bank branches. Thirteen will go to an M&T Bank
The good news here comes in two parts. First, First Horizon will be able to exit its eponymous banking branches unscathed, and it even expects to book a small gain on the sales. Second, by focusing its efforts on its core First Tennessee brand, I'd expect First Horizon to be able to cut marketing costs (having half as many brands to support) going forward, perhaps considerably. Since it holds the biggest market share in Tennessee, I doubt the firm really needs to advertise its core banking brand much.
First Horizon might not save a lot on ads; according to the firm's most recent 10-K filing with the SEC, the whole corporation spent $47.4 million on "advertising and public relations" last year. But every little bit helps.
This is a good move, Fools. Now all First Horizon needs to do is change its name.