Updated May 8 with the event's correct date
Weather permitting, a team of workers and a helicopter will next Sunday install two Regions Bank signs atop One Nashville Place, the bank's new regional headquarters. The first of the 47-foot wide signs is scheduled to be placed atop the 360-foot tower beginning around 6:30 a.m.
The company managing downtown's One Nashville Place office tower on Monday provided us with a few more details on Regions Bank's plans to relocate its Middle Tennessee and Mid-America headquarters there. Daymark Realty says Regions' 100,000-square-foot lease is for 12.5 years and will give the bank room to house 225 employees. The company also says the lease — Regions is essentially replacing U.S. Bank, which is moving to the AT&T Building — brings the occupancy at One Nashville Place to 99 percent, but that stat should come with an asterisk: Two floors that law firm Miller & Martin is subleasing to Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada will be empty by spring.
One other detail in Daymark's release needs outright tweaking, though: The firm says One Nashville is 37 stories tall. It's actually 25.
Mike Turner at Compass Point Research has downgraded shares of three of the biggest banking names in Middle Tennessee, saying they are fully valued given the broader economic environment and the specific issues each faces. Turner lowered Regions Financial and SunTrust Banks to 'neutral' from 'buy' and First Horizon National to 'sell' from 'neutral.' Investors in Regions will need faster loan growth, he writes, while SunTrust needs to get a better relationship between its costs and revenues. First Horizon gets a 'sell' rating because it faces higher litigation risk in the next few quarters and because "revenue growth will continue to underwhelm."
Shares of SunTrust are fighting off the downgrade in Monday morning trading while Regions and First Horizon are solidly in the red.
Regions Bank has beefed up its Now Banking product line, which markets to people who don't often use traditional banking services, by adding a savings account option for users of the bank's reloadable Visa cards. The accounts come with various incentives and an invitation to attend online financial education seminars.
Not long after Regions launched Now Banking in the summer of 2011, a top executive said about 10 percent of its new customers had signed up for other Regions products.
Shares of Regions Financial, the largest holder of deposits in Middle Tennessee and a stock still widely held here by virtue of its First American roots, are up more than 4 percent in a second day of positive trading after the bank reported better-than-expected Q2 results Tuesday morning. Regions' $284 million in profits last quarter amounted to 20 cents per diluted share, 4 cents more than analysts had expected. Analysts also like the look of the company's loan trends.
There were a lot of positive boxes to check in the first-quarter earnings report of Regions Financial, the parent of the largest bank of Middle Tennessee. In addition to wrapping up the sale of Morgan Keegan and paying off TARP, business lending grew more than 2 percent while nonperforming loans fell by 9 percent from late 2011. Investors noticed, too, pushing the company's shares (Ticker: RF) up more than 5 percent to near their highest levels in almost 11 months.