Community Bank System Reports Strong Second Quarter Results

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Community Bank System ReportsStrong Second Quarter Results

- Quarterly earnings per share of $0.52

- Loan growth of $74 million in the quarter (8% annualized)


- Additional balance sheet restructuring completed during the quarter

SYRACUSE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Community Bank System, Inc. (NYS: CBU) reported net income of $21.1 million for second quarter 2013, compared with $21.1 million earned for the second quarter of 2012. Diluted earnings per share were $0.52 for the second quarter of 2013, versus $0.53 in the second quarter of last year. Year-to-date earnings increased 3.7% over the first six months of 2012, to $41.4 million ($1.02 per share).

Total revenue for the second quarter of 2013 was $85.5 million, an increase of $4.1 million, or 5.0%, compared to second quarter 2012. Higher revenue was driven by higher non-interest income from an increased deposit account base, along with continued solid organic growth in wealth management and benefits administration services. Net interest income was up 1.1% from the second quarter 2012 reflective of productive acquired and organic loan growth over the past twelve months, as well as the balance sheet restructuring activities completed in the first and second quarters of 2013. The quarterly provision for loan losses of $1.3 million was $0.8 million lower than the second quarter of 2012, reflective of lower net charge-offs and the continuation of generally stable and favorable asset quality metrics. Total operating expenses of $54.4 million for the quarter were $5.0 million, or 10.1%, higher than the second quarter of 2012, primarily driven by additional operating costs associated with the branch acquisitions completed in third quarter 2012.

"The positive operating momentum from the first quarter continued through the midpoint of 2013, with solid organic loan growth, a strong increase in fee income, responsible expense management, and very positive asset quality metrics," said President and Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Tryniski. "Our results through June 30, 2013, reflect our balanced approach to growth, both acquired and organic. Non-interest income growth remained robust in the second quarter with double-digit year-over-year increases in our deposit service fees, wealth management services and our benefit plan services. With solid growth in our loan portfolio, appropriate management of our funding costs, a strong capital position and exceptional asset quality metrics, we believe that we're well positioned for the remainder of 2013 and beyond."

Second quarter net interest income of $58.4 million increased 1.1% compared with the prior year period, despite a planned reduction of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, the net result of solid loan growth and the balance sheet restructuring activities. Second quarter interest income was down $6.4 million compared to the prior year quarter as a result of a $50.7 million net decrease in interest-earning assets along with a 43-basis point decline in the earning asset yield, driven by lower yields on both loans (down 63 basis points) and investment securities (down 14 basis points). This was more than offset by a $7.1 million decrease in interest expense reflecting a $246.1 million reduction in interest-bearing liabilities coupled with a 46-basis point decline in the Bank's cost of funds. The lower cost of funds was driven by continued low market interest rates that enabled the Company to lower deposit rates to produce a 20-basis point decline in the interest-bearing deposit rate in comparison to second quarter 2012, and the extinguishment of certain higher cost borrowings. During the first and second quarters of 2013, the Company initiated and completed a balance sheet restructuring program that involved selling nearly $650 million of longer duration investment securities and using the proceeds to retire $502 million of Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) borrowings.

Second quarter non-interest income of $27.1 million increased $3.4 million, or 14.4% compared to last year's second quarter. Deposit service revenues grew $1.3 million, or 11.9%, to $12.3 million, as a result of a 15.5% increase in deposit account balances, reflective of both the branch acquisitions and organic growth across the franchise. Wealth management revenues were up $0.9 million, or 30.4%, over second quarter 2012, driven by solid gains in trust services, asset management and advisory services, and favorable market conditions. Employee benefits administration and consulting revenues grew 8.5% to $9.4 million benefitting from new and expanded customer relationships. Noninterest income for the six months ended June 30, 2013 was $53.2 million (31% of total revenue) an increase of $6.0 million, or 12.8%, compared to the first six months of 2012.

Quarterly operating expenses of $54.4 million increased $5.0 million, or 10.1%, over the second quarter of 2012, principally reflecting the recurring operating expenses of the branches acquired in the third quarter of 2012. Salaries and employee benefits increased $3.4 million, or 12.8%, and occupancy costs grew 10.1% primarily as a result of the branch acquisitions. Other expenses increased by $0.9 million, or 5.8%, also a reflection of the additional costs of operating an expanded franchise, including customer service and account processing. Year-to-date operating expenses were $108.9 million, an increase of $10.2 million, or 10.3%, over the prior year period.

The second quarter and first half of 2013's effective income tax rate of 29.2% was consistent with the 29.1% rate reported in the first six months of 2012, reflective of generally stable proportions of income being generated from fully taxable and non-taxable sources.

Balance Sheet Restructuring Completed

In April 2013, the Company sold an additional $250.1 million of investment securities related to its balance sheet restructuring program initiated in the first quarter of 2013, and extinguished an additional $135.0 million of FHLB borrowings. The Company realized $16.0 million of gains, and incurred $15.7 million of early extinguishment costs in the second quarter. During the first quarter of 2013 the Company sold $398.7 million of investment securities, realizing $47.8 million of gains, and utilized the proceeds to retire FHLB borrowings of $366.6 million with $47.8 million of early extinguishment costs. As a result of this initiative the size the Company's balance sheet was reduced by approximately 7% during the first half of the year. Although these transactions were essentially neutral to both year-to-date earnings and total capital, they effectively created over $35 million of incremental regulatory (Tier 1) capital, and are expected to be modestly additive to future net interest income generation.

Financial Position

Average earning assets for the second quarter of 2013 were $6.3 billion, a decrease of $412.0 million, or 6.2%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, and reflective of the balance sheet restructuring activities described above. Compared to the prior year period, second quarter average earning assets were down $50.7 million. Ending investment securities, including cash equivalents, totaled $2.37 billion at June 30, 2013, $573.1 million lower than the prior year quarter end due to the balance sheet restructuring initiatives described above. Ending loans increased $374.3 million year-over-year, or 10.5%, reflecting both loans from the acquired branches and strong organic growth in the consumer lending portfolios. Total deposits at second quarter end increased by $759.8 million, or 15.5%, from June 30, 2012, primarily a result of the branch acquisitions in third quarter of last year. Total deposits have increased by $42.1 million, an annualized increase of 1.5%, compared to the 2012 year end. The Company's Tier 1 leverage ratio improved to 9.43% for the current quarter, up 65 basis points from March 31, 2013 and 103 basis points higher than the fourth quarter of 2012. Tangible equity to net tangible assets declined 15 basis points from the end of the first quarter, to 7.43%, reflective of changes in the net unrealized gains on available for sale securities.

Asset Quality

The Company's asset quality metrics for the second quarter of 2013 remained substantially better than comparative peer and industry averages and illustrate the long-term effectiveness of the Company's disciplined risk management and underwriting standards. Net charge-offs were $0.8 million for the second quarter, compared to $2.1 million for the second quarter of 2012 and $1.4 million for the first quarter of 2013. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.62% at June 30, 2013, down from 0.71% at March 31, 2013, and down from 0.90% of total loans at June 30, 2012. The total delinquency ratio of 1.50% at the end of the second quarter was down 21 basis points from second quarter 2012 and five basis points lower than the end of the first quarter 2013. The second quarter provision for loan losses of $1.3 million was down $0.8 million, or 39%, compared to second quarter 2012, consistent with the lower level of net charge-offs and nonperforming loans in the current quarter. The allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans was 178% at June 30, 2013, compared to 131% at June 30, 2012 and 157% as of March 31, 2013.

Stock Repurchase Authorization

The Company's Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program, in December 2012, authorizing the repurchase of up to 2.0 million shares of the Company's common stock at the discretion of executive management. The authorization period started on January 1, 2013 and ends on December 31, 2013. The Company did not repurchase any stock in the first half of 2013.

Rebranding Pennsylvania Banking Operations

The Company announced in early June that it will rebrand its First Liberty Bank and Trust operations in Northeastern Pennsylvania to Community Bank, N.A. The Company entered the Pennsylvania market with the acquisition of First Liberty in 2001 and decided to maintain the brand to preserve the goodwill associated with the name.

"We believe that the rebranding of our Pennsylvania operations will enable our customers in these markets to have a clearer understanding of our service footprint and the range of our product and service offerings," Mr. Tryniski said. "We also view this as an opportunity to streamline our marketing effort with a single brand, which is expected to provide enhanced efficiency." The changeover is targeted to be completed by early September 2013.

Conference Call Scheduled

Company management will conduct an investor call at 11:00 a.m. (ET) tomorrow (Wednesday) July 24, 2013 to discuss second quarter results. The conference call can be accessed at 877-551-8082 (1-904-520-5770 if outside United States and Canada). An audio recording will be available one hour after the call until September 30, 2013, and may be accessed at 1-888-284-7564 (1-904-596-3174 if outside the United States and Canada) and entering access code 2985411. Investors may also listen live via the Internet at: http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=94759. The recording will be archived until July 24, 2014 and can be accessed at any point during this time at no cost.

This earnings release, including supporting financial tables, is available within the press releases section of the Company's investor relations website at: http://ir.communitybanksystem.com. An archived webcast of the earnings call will be available on this site for one full year.

Headquartered in DeWitt, N.Y., Community Bank System, Inc. has more than $7.0 billion in assets and over 180 customer facilities. The Company's banking subsidiary, Community Bank, N.A. operates across Upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania Its other subsidiaries include: Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc., a national employee benefits consulting and trust administration firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas; the CBNA Insurance Agency, with offices in five northern New York communities; Community Investment Services, Inc., a wealth management firm delivering a wide range of financial products throughout the Company's branch network; and Nottingham Advisors, an investment management and advisory firm with offices in Buffalo, N.Y. and North Palm Beach, Florida. For more information, visit: www.communitybankna.com or www.firstlibertybank.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.The following factors, among others, could cause the actual results of CBU's operations to differ materially from CBU's expectations: the successful integration of operations of its acquisitions; competition; changes in economic conditions, interest rates and financial markets; and changes in legislation or regulatory requirements.CBU does not assume any duty to update forward-looking statements.

Summary of Financial Data        

(Dollars in thousands, expect per share data)

 

          
Quarter Ended  Year-to-Date
June 30,June 30,June 30,June 30,

 

  2013  2012  2013  2012

Earnings

            
Loan income$46,412$47,077$93,530$94,715
Investment income17,72823,46838,53543,341
Total interest income64,14070,545132,065138,056
Interest expense5,70812,77415,20826,376
Net interest income58,43257,771116,857111,680
Provision for loan losses1,3212,1552,7143,799
Net interest income after provision for loan losses57,11155,616114,143107,881
Deposit service fees12,34511,03523,94021,404
Mortgage banking revenues342234513554
Other banking services6786621,5451,336
Wealth management services4,0453,1017,7436,233
Benefit trust, administration, consulting and actuarial fees9,3978,66419,16717,637
Gain on sales of investment securities16,008063,7990
Loss on debt extinguishments(15,717)0(63,500)0
Total noninterest income27,09823,69653,20747,164
Salaries and employee benefits30,28626,84460,76954,269
Occupancy and equipment and furniture6,7506,13013,81512,593
Amortization of intangible assets1,1401,0452,3192,131
Acquisition expenses01640424
Other16,20015,18732,02529,356
Total operating expenses54,37649,370108,92898,773
Income before income taxes29,83329,94258,42256,272
Income taxes8,7118,87117,05916,375
Net income21,12221,071$41,363$39,897
Basic earnings per share$0.53$0.53$1.03$1.02
Diluted earnings per share  $0.52  $0.53  $1.02  $1.01

Summary of Financial Data

          

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

             
2013  2012
   2nd Qtr  1st Qtr  4th Qtr  3rd Qtr  2nd Qtr
Earnings               
Loan income$46,412$47,118$49,405$48,590$47,077
Investment income17,72820,80722,54522,80423,468
Total interest income64,14067,92571,95071,39470,545
Interest expense5,7089,50011,98112,61912,774
Net interest income58,43258,42559,96958,77557,771
Provision for loan losses1,3211,3932,6662,6432,155
Net interest income after provision for loan losses57,11157,03257,30356,13255,616
Deposit service fees12,34511,59512,60312,05711,035
Mortgage banking revenues342171161128234
Other banking services6788676131,277662
Wealth management services4,0453,6983,4493,1943,101
Benefit trust, administration, consulting and actuarial fees9,3979,7709,3978,9128,664
Gain on sales of investment securities16,00847,79102910
Loss on debt extinguishments(15,717)(47,783)000
Total noninterest income27,09826,10926,22325,85923,696
Salaries and employee benefits30,28630,48329,63928,12626,844
Occupancy and equipment6,7507,0656,6656,5416,130
Amortization of intangible assets1,1401,1791,2641,2121,045
Acquisition expenses & litigation settlement003,0274,796164
Other16,20015,82516,30415,41015,187
Total operating expenses54,37654,55256,89956,08549,370
Income before income taxes29,83328,58926,62725,90629,942
Income taxes8,7118,3487,8237,5398,871
Net income21,12220,24118,80418,36721,071
Basic earnings per share$0.53$0.51$0.47$0.46$0.53
Diluted earnings per share  $0.52  $0.50  $0.47  $0.46  $0.53
Profitability               
Return on assets1.21%1.11%1.00%0.98%1.20%
Return on equity9.70%9.18%8.20%8.12%9.82%
Return on tangible equity(3)16.38%15.32%13.55%13.27%16.01%
Noninterest income/operating income (FTE) (1)30.2%29.5%29.0%28.8%27.6%
Efficiency ratio (2)  59.9%  60.3%  58.2%  56.5%  56.1%
Components of Net Interest Margin (FTE)      Read Full Story

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