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Northern Trust Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The U.S. economy's slow recovery has led to continued improvement in the credit quality of our loan portfolio. Nonperforming assets declined for the fourth quarter in a row, and our loan loss provision was $5 million, unchanged from last quarter and down from $10 million one year ago. And we saw some modest loan growth both sequentially and compared to last year.

Let's move to Page 2 and discuss the financial results for the second quarter. Net income of $180 million and earnings per share of $0.73 both increased approximately 11% sequentially and 18% year-over-year. Our return on equity of 9.9% was better than last quarter and one year ago and just below our long-term target range of 10% to 15%, signifying good progress on our productivity and profitability efforts. The sequential quarter improvement was primarily the result of revenue growing 2% and expenses declining 1%.

Trust, investment and other servicing fees, the largest component of our revenues, grew 5% but were offset partially by reduced foreign exchange trading income and net interest income. The decline in expenses was primarily due to lower compensation benefits and other expenses. Higher trust, investment and other servicing fees and net interest income drove the year-over-year comparison, which was again impacted by the reduced level of foreign exchange trading income.

The year-over-year comparisons for both revenues and expenses were also impacted by the inclusion of the Bank of Ireland Securities Services and Omnium acquisitions, which closed in June and July of 2011, respectively. Before getting into more detail, I'd like to highlight 3 items, which impacted the comparisons between periods.

First, we recorded $3.6 million in restructuring acquisition and integration charges during the second quarter. This compares to $3.9 million last quarter and $22.6 million one year ago.

Second, our results for the quarter included software write-downs at $10.5 million. Our first quarter results also had an unrelated software write-downs of $4.6 million. There was no such item in the year earlier period.

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