The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bank of America, M&T Bank, BB&T, Fifth Third Bancorp and Wells Fargo

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 05, 2015 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ), M&T Bank Corporation ( MTB ), BB&T Corporation ( BBT ), Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB ) and Wells Fargo & Company ( WFC ).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Bank Stock Roundup: Restructuring Continues

Over the last five trading days, performance of banking stocks remained muted, mirroring the overall equity markets. Global concerns such as slowdown in China and downward pressure on oil prices have also been adversely impacting the banking stocks. Energy lending, which once happened to aid the U.S. oil boom, now seems to give jitters to banks in the form of continuous regulatory pressure to limit exposure in the sector.

Additionally, with no hike in rates anticipated in the near term, banks are resorting to restructuring measures. Sale/closure of branches for checking expenses continues to make headlines. As an example, Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ) is considering layoffs in Global Banking and Global Markets segments as its trading and investment banking revenues remain under strain.

Nonetheless, banks have been trying to boost top line by expanding further into lucrative sectors. Also, attempts to close the long-awaited merger deal between M&T Bank Corporation ( MTB ) and Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. ultimately materialized. After facing much delay, finally the banks received the Federal Reserve's approval to complete the deal on or around Nov 1, 2015.

Like always, a week never ended for banks without legal and regulatory matters cropping up. Past business misconducts continue to catch up with banks. The firms, on their part, continue to settle lawsuits for moving past their legal headwinds.

(Read the last Bank Stock Roundup for Sep 25, 2015. )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Developments:

1. BB&T Corporation ( BBT ) revealed the location of six branches, slated to be closed in association with its $1.8-billion acquisition of PA-based National Penn Bancshares, Inc. Though the exact date of the shutdown was not disclosed, it is expected to take place along with the completion of the acquisition in mid-2016.

Separately, another major bank, the Ohio-based Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB ), announced its exit from the St. Louis retail market. The bank agreed to sell 12 branches, retail and private banking deposits worth $261 million and consumer loans worth $155 million to Springfield-based Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (read more: BB&T Names Six Branches to be Shut in National Penn Deal and Fifth Third Continues with Restructuring; Vends 12 Branches ).

2. Wells Fargo & Company ( WFC ) inked yet another deal with GE Capital, an arm of Connecticut-based General Electric Company. First Union Rail - the railcar finance, leasing and fleet management business of Wells Fargo - has entered into an agreement to acquire GE Railcar Services from GE Capital. The deal is expected to close by first-quarter 2016 (read more: Wells Fargo Unit Pens Deal to Buy GE Railcar Services ).

3. As regulators are striving to wipe out discrimination against minority borrowers in the auto loan industry, Fifth Third Bancorp agreed to pay $18 million for settling the lawsuit under which it was sued for encouraging discriminatory indirect auto lending practices (read more: Fifth Third Agrees to Settle Suit on Unfair Practices ).

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BANK OF AMER CP (BAC): Free Stock Analysis Report

M&T BANK CORP (MTB): Free Stock Analysis Report

BB&T CORP (BBT): Free Stock Analysis Report

FIFTH THIRD BK (FITB): Free Stock Analysis Report

WELLS FARGO-NEW (WFC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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