Hot stock to watch: Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION)

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Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) stock rose over 3% on October 22nd, 2018 after hours session (Source: Google finance) as the company in the third quarter of FY 18 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $1.04, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of 96 cents. Net interest income has increased to $565 million in the third quarter of 2018 from $522 million in the third quarter of 2017. The $43 million, or 8%, increase in reported net interest income was attributable to a $69 million increase in interest and fees on loans, resulting from increases in short-term interest rates and loan growth in consumer and commercial loans, partially offset by an increase to interest expense. The $31 million increase in interest expense was primarily due to higher rates paid on deposits and an increase in interest paid on short and long-term borrowings. Net interest income for the current quarter benefited from $3 million of interest income recoveries of at least $1 million per loan, while there were no such recoveries in the same prior year period. The net interest margin increased to 3.63% in the third quarter of 2018, compared with 3.56% in the second quarter of 2018, and 3.45% in the same prior year period. Asset quality continued to improve for the entire loan portfolio when compared with the prior quarter and the same prior year period, primarily due to continued improvements in the oil and gas-related portfolio. Loans and leases, net of unearned income and fees, increased $1.7 billion, or 4%, to $45.8 billion at September 30, 2018 from $44.2 billion at September 30, 2017. The largest increases were in commercial loans and consumer loans

During the third quarter of 2018, the Company has increased its common stock dividend to $0.30 per share from $0.24 per share in the second quarter of 2018. Common stock repurchases during the third quarter totaled $185 million, or 3.5 million shares, which is equivalent to 1.8% of common stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018. During the last four quarters the Company has repurchased $535 million, or 10.1 million shares, which is equivalent to 5.1% of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2017

On September 30, 2018, the Company had completed the merger of Zions Bancorporation, its former bank holding company, with, and into, its subsidiary bank, formerly known as ZB, N.A. in order to further reduce organizational complexity. The restructuring eliminated the bank holding company structure and associated regulatory framework, and resulted in ZB, N.A. being renamed Zions Bancorporation, National Association and becoming the top-level entity within our corporate structure

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