Regions Financial (RF) reported lower second-quarter earnings after the Birmingham, Ala., company restructured its debt and redeemed certain securities.

The $119 billion-asset company's earnings fell 20% from the first quarter and 7% from a year earlier, to $260 million. Noninterest expenses rose 5% from the first quarter and a year earlier, to $884 million.

Regions said $56 million of those expenses were tied to the redemption of $350 million of 7.75% senior notes and the redemption of nearly $600 million in securities, including trust preferred stock. The company also issued $750 million of 2% senior notes during the second quarter.

"By continuing to execute on our business priorities, our company is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities as the economy continues to improve," Grayson Hall, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release Tuesday.

Zions Bancorp. (ZION) in Salt Lake City took similar steps during its second quarter.

The company also increased head count by 226 positions during the quarter, focusing on adding staff in investment services.

Net interest income edged up slightly from the first quarter but fell 4% from a year earlier, to $808 million. Total loans were essentially flat from prior quarters, at $76 billion, and the net interest margin held steady at 3.16%. Deposit costs were much lower than in prior quarters.

The loan-loss provision tripled from the first quarter and rose 19% from a year earlier, to $31 million. Nonperforming assets fell 5% from the first quarter and 27% from a year earlier, to $1.7 billion.

Noninterest income was flat from the first quarter and a year earlier, at $497 million. Mortgage-related income fell 23% from a year earlier after a 7% decline in production.

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