Monday, May 11, 2009

Fifth Third and Huntington: Big Winners from Stress Test

5/8/2009 12:30 PM EDT

Earlier this week, I said I thought that Fifth Third (FITB) and Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) were my favorite banks going into the Stress Test results. They've been the best bank performers today -- up 57% and 45% respectively today and more for the week.

I've sold my FITB May $6 calls this morning but rolled some of that profit into August $17.50 calls, as I see further upside ahead. Put me squarely in Jim's camp on financials versus Doug's(at least with respect to these smaller regionals).

For these two smaller players specifically, yesterday's news takes away the fear of highly dilutive future offerings. Yes, the risk of a drop in commercial real estate but that is countered with the potential for consumer mortgage re-fis continuing as we saw earlier in the week with FITB. What yesterday's results showed is that Midwestern regional banks were much better positioned than those in the Southeast (although FITB has its share of Florida exposure). This makes me less concerned about the commerical real estate shoe dropping in that part of the country.

Position: Long FITB.

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