First big banks disappoint, now regional bank earnings are lower than expected

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Big banks disappointing last week, on top of Energy companies dramatically lowering their numbers. On Tuesday, both Morgan Stanley and Regions Financial, a large Alabama-based company, disappointed.

Regions Financial reported a surprising miss on fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, below consensus of 21 cents a share. Some of that could be attributed to legal accruals and a charge for closing 50 branches a year, but loan growth seems to have been decent, fee income weaker, and there was higher expenses, and a lower tax rate.

Read MoreMorgan Stanley profit rises as legal costs fall

They expect 2015 loan growth to total 4-to-6 percent, and deposit growth of 2 percent—similar to 2014. Net interest margins are lower, as they are for all banks, and could decline another 10-to-12 basis points if the 10-year Treasury yield remains in the 1.75-2 percent range.

We had weak earnings from energy stocks, now the financial sector is weaker than expected. Not a good start to earnings season!


Some positive comments on lower fuel. Delta said they would save $2 billion in fuel in 2015 from 2014. They also said savings would have been 70 percent more without fuel hedges!

Delta did beat on earnings, despite passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) being up only 0.8 percent year over year following lower guidance earlier in the month. Traffic and capacity were up 4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, while seats filled remained at 82.8 percent. Revenues for the airline giant were also up 6.3 percent.

Read MoreDelta Air Lines posts fourth-quarter loss after fuel hedging

The NYSE is reopening its famous "Garage" Tuesday, which is an annex to the original trading floor that we broadcast from. The Garage was originally opened in 1922, and will now be home to traders and market makers from the NYSE Group's U.S. Cash Equities & U.S. Equity Options (the old American Stock Exchange) as well as ICE Futures. It will also support the NYSE Arca customer service desk and the NYSE/ICE National Operations Center.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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