Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own shares of PNC Financial or are considering buying them in the near future. If so, then you've come to the right place, as the table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about PNC before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold its stock.

But before getting to that, a brief introduction is in order. Tracing its roots to the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company, which was founded in 1852, PNC has since transformed into one of the nation's largest regional banks. Following its controversial acquisition of Cleveland-based National City Bank in 2008, PNC operates more than 2,900 branches across 19 states and the District of Columbia. And in addition to the $305 billion of assets on its balance sheet, it has approximately $112 billion in assets under management and $224 billion of assets under administration.


From a shareholder's perspective, PNC's biggest strengths are its net interest margin, reasonable leverage, and healthy fee-based income. At 3.94%, its net interest margin exceeds the industry average by an impressive 24 basis points. It does so, moreover, with less leverage than most of its peers. At the end of last year, its tier 1 capital was leveraged 9.6 times relative to its average total assets compared to the industry average of 10.1 times. Finally, and this is an oft-overlooked component of good banks, its non-interest income accounted for a considerable 40% of total revenue -- that is, 12 percentage points more than the industry.

Alternatively, PNC's two biggest weaknesses are its efficiency ratio and return on equity. The efficiency ratio is a measure of a bank's cost structure; a higher ratio reflects a less efficient operation, and vice versa. In this case, PNC's ratio comes in at 73% compared to the industry's 69%. Suffice it to say, this is an area of opportunity for PNC. Given this and the less aggressive use of leverage, it's little surprise that PNC's return on equity underperforms the average, at 7.6% and 8.2%, respectively. And it's likely for this reason, in sum, that PNC trades for a comparatively reasonable 1.37 times tangible book.

Want to learn more about PNC Financial?
The big banks may be rushing to renew their focus on traditional banking, but well-run regional banks like PNC Financial are already there. PNC saw its share of hardships during the financial meltdown, but its management team thinks the bank is now back on track and ready to deliver for investors. Does this mean it's time to buy PNC? To help you figure that out, one of The Motley Fool's top banking analysts has authored a brand-new premium research report, delving into everything investors need to know about PNC today. To claim your copy, simply click here now for instant access.

The article 9 Critical Numbers About PNC Financial originally appeared on Fool.com.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of PNC Financial Services. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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