A flatter yield curve just bit another bank.
Cincinnati-based super-regional bank Fifth Third
Fifth Third didn't provide any specific earnings-per-share guidance, but they did offer insight into a number of the company's moving parts. First, and perhaps most importantly, the company expects a sequential decrease in net interest income. That figure makes up about half of the company's profits, and the net interest margin has been skidding for some time now.
Looking elsewhere, the company sees mid-single-digit growth in earning assets, mid-single-digit deposit growth, and higher expenses. In the slim category of good news, credit quality seems to be staying more or less intact. The charge-off rate of bad loans was pretty much stable with the prior quarter.
Speaking more broadly, Fifth Third and many other banks are in a tough spot. Intense competition for borrowers is keeping a lid on mortgage rates, and equally intense competition for deposits is trying to push up those rates. It's never good to have pressure on both the "buy" and "sell" side.
I've been eyeing this bank for a little while now, in hopes that it would be a turnaround candidate. So far, though, I'm not finding a compelling reason to buy the stock. With so many publicly traded bank stocks, I see no reason to reach too far for one. After all, Doral
Does Fifth Third still pay a decent dividend? Yes. Is Fifth Third in any danger of falling apart? I don't think so. Could a larger bank come in and try to buy Fifth Third? Absolutely. Accordingly, patient investors who already own it can probably hold on, but they shouldn't expect anything like a quick fix. For those who don't already own it, think long and hard about whether this is the best of more than 600 other banking choices out there.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).