By Derek Jensen (Tysto

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) is a U.S. regional banking  company, located in Ohio.

Some of the company’s main competitors are, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC),  which reported recently, which slightly beat expectations, and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), which will be reporting today.

Analysts expect the company to earn $0.37 a share, which is far above its earnings of $0.10 a share reported in Q1 2011. The first quarter earnings numbers last year shocked analysts who had forecast $0.26 a share. FITB’s earnings forecasts for this quarter have been raised over the past three months from $0.34 to $0.37 a share.

Revenue is estimated to come in at  $1.54 billion, compared to Q1 2011’s number of $1.47 billion.

The company crushed estimates with earnings of $0.45 a share.

Management noted that they have no direct European sovereign exposure; total exposure to European peripheral borrowers less than $0.2 billion and that total exposure to European banks less than $0.1 billion,

Strong balance sheet was reported; Tier 1 capital ratio 12.19%, Total capital ratio 16.06%, Leverage ratio 11.31%

The company repurchased stock as well.

Management issued the following statement:

“It was a strong earnings quarter for Fifth Third and we’re pleased with our results,” said Kevin Kabat, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. “That was the case with or without the earnings benefit from Vantiv. We continue to see solid growth in commercial lending volumes and fee income results were particularly strong in the mortgage banking, corporate banking, and investment advisory businesses.

“The successful Vantiv IPO marks a new stage of development for this business. When we initially sold an interest in Vantiv in mid-2009, we anticipated that this moment would arrive. Since that time, through a lot of hard work, this business was established as an independent entity and it reported revenue of $1.6 billion for the year ended 2011. Fifth Third continues to hold a 39% economic interest in the firm, whose stock was valued at $4.2 billion at the end of the first quarter. As previously announced, we intend to repurchase common shares in the amount of the after-tax IPO gains of approximately $75 million.

“Additionally, a couple of weeks ago we announced the sale of various Fifth Third retail stock and bond and money market funds. While these operations are small relative to Fifth Third as a whole, the transactions will allow us to better focus on our client advisory and distribution capabilities.

“It was a good start to 2012. We feel good about our momentum and positioning in this environment, and will continue to execute our strategic plans to make this a great year for the company.”

Shares were up 0.78% after hours last night.