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Fulton Financial's CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: FULT

Our team members share the same commitment to growing the company profitably and enhancing the value we create for customers and shareholders.

This is not to suggest that we'll be any less concerned about the profitable return on and deployment of our capital. However, until industry regulatory capital standards are better defined, ROE is difficult to meaningfully manage. And as you know, our capital position has always been and remains a strong.

On our last call, we said we would consider increasing our cash dividend as business conditions and our financial performance permit, and as the Board of Directors deems prudent. We were pleased to follow our $0.01 increase in April by the same amount again this quarter.

Our progress is also evident on our second quarter asset quality numbers, as Phil will discuss, we saw improvement in all our core credit metrics and while we still have a great deal of work ahead of us, it's very encouraging to see these across the board improvements.

We continue to aggressively pursue our new business development efforts with customers and prospects. These sales efforts have enabled us to grow existing relationships and attract new ones. As business and consumer confidence improves, we would expect our work to produce increased levels of new business.

Another development occurred during the second quarter was a further decrease in funding cost that helped us expand our net interest margin. As you would know, there are a lot of moving parts to this number and there can, of course, be economic as well as seasonal fluctuations. The key is that we continue to grow lower cost deposit balances, particularly, in the non-interest checking category. These are primary transaction accounts from customers and businesses that help us grow households and create new cross-selling opportunities.

We do not publish our specific household growth numbers for competitive reasons, however, we attribute our very strong year-over-year demand deposit growth, and more than 6% increase in small business accounts to aggressive segment management, calling efforts and promotional activity. All parts of our ongoing growth strategy.

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