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Regions incurs $17M consolidation expense in Q4'16, cuts headcount by 5% YOY

Regions Financial Corp. on Jan. 20 reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income available to common shareholders of $279 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to $269 million, or 21 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Net income from continuing operations available to common shareholders was $278 million, or 23 cents per share, up from the 2015 fourth quarter's $272 million, or 21 cents per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the recent quarter was 23 cents.

During the fourth quarter, the Birmingham, Ala.-based company incurred $17 million of expenses related to the previously announced consolidation of 70 branches. Also, related to ongoing efficiency efforts, it incurred $5 million of severance expense during the recent quarter. Year-over-year, staffing levels declined over 1,200 positions or 5%.

Regions will consolidate an additional 27 branches, expected to close in the second quarter. Since the fourth quarter of 2015, the company has consolidated or announced plans to consolidate 130 branches as part of its plan to consolidate at least 150 branches by the end of 2017.

The company also decided, during the 2016 fourth quarter, to sell $171 million of affordable housing residential mortgage loans to Freddie Mac, recognizing a gain of $5 million.

Total revenue, on a taxable-equivalent basis, was $1.40 billion in the 2016 fourth quarter, up from $1.37 billion in the last quarter of 2015. Net interest margin, on a fully taxable-equivalent basis, was 3.16% in the last quarter of 2016, compared to 3.06% for the linked quarter and 3.08% in the 2015 fourth quarter.