Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

Flat Rates And Business Transitions Challenge Fifth Third

All things considered, Fifth Third (NASDAQ:FITB) is a good bank dealing with what should be relatively short-term challenges. The states that make up the core of the business, including Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, aren't seeing particularly good growth right now, but manufacturing activity appears to be improving and Fifth Third is focusing on growing its presence in more promising markets like Florida and North Carolina. Fifth Third does appear to be undervalued on the basis of its quality, but management may find it challenging to deliver the better-than-high single-digit earnings growth that already seems factored into the price.

A Midwest Power

With over 1,300 branches across 12 states, Fifth Third is among the largest banks in the...

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