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Fulton Financial Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Our comments today will refer to the financial information included with our earnings announcement, which we released at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. These documents can be found on our website at by clicking on Investor Relations and then on News.

On this call, representatives of Fulton may make forward-looking statements with respect to Fulton's financial condition, results of operations and business. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond Fulton's control and difficult predict -- to predict and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements. Fulton undertakes no obligation other than required by law to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In our earnings release, we've included our Safe Harbor statement on forward-looking statements, and we refer you to this section of that release and we incorporated into today's presentation. For a more complete discussion of certain risks and uncertainties affecting Fulton, please see the sections entitled, Risk Factors and Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations set forth in Fulton's filings with the SEC.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to your host, Scott Smith.

R. Scott Smith

Thanks, Laura, and good morning, everyone. We're pleased that you were able to join us today. Before Phil Wenger discusses credit and Charlie Nugent covers the financial details, I have a few comments on the quarter. When we conclude, we'll be happy to take your questions.

We reported diluted net earnings per share of $0.20, up 5.3% over the first quarter and up 11.1% over last year. Our return on average assets also increased, and as you know from previous calls, ROA improvement is one of our key priorities. While we experienced success on a number of fronts in the second quarter, 2 in particular standout: continued improvement in our credit quality and strong other income growth. Looking first at credit and Phil will provide more detail. We were pleased to see further decrease in the provision for credit losses. Nonperforming loans also decreased due in part to the sale of a group of non-accruing loans. We continue to see overall improvement in our credit quality in what, from our perspective, is still a less than robust business environment. Total loans outstanding increased modestly at the end of the quarter. We would like to think this may be an indicator of a pickup in loan demand, but our expectations remain tempered by persistent customer uncertainty. We continue to expand the foundation for potential future loans growth by growing our retail and commercial account base again in this quarter. While we do not share actual account growth metrics for competitive reasons, our recently completed retail deposit promotion generated higher than normal new account activity when compared to the same period last year.

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