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Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012 Results

Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. (Susquehanna) (NASDAQ: SUSQ) today announced that it earned net income for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $43.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to net income of $19.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, or $0.12 per diluted share. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $141.2 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared with $54.9 million, or $0.40 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2011.

“We established some ambitious goals for 2012,” said William J. Reuter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “These results demonstrate the remarkable success of our teams in achieving our objectives for the year -- integrating the customers, employees and markets we acquired in the Abington and Tower mergers, continuing strong improvement in credit quality, growing loans, deposits and revenues, and improving core profitability and shareholder return.”

Mr. Reuter continued, “We are excited about the opportunity to build on this success in 2013 and beyond as we pursue our mission to help customers achieve their financial goals, deliver a superior return for our shareholders and build the economic strength of our communities.”

Linked Quarter Results (Fourth Quarter 2012 vs. Third Quarter 2012)

  • Loans and leases increased $219.1 million, or 1.7%, from September 30, 2012 to $12.9 billion at December 31, 2012, as significant growth in commercial loans and leases was offset by a decrease in real estate construction loans. Growth in lease balances was driven largely by increased auto leasing demand. Growth for the quarter in each major category is as follows:
    • Commercial loans increased 4.8%.
    • Real estate – construction loans decreased 6.2%.
    • Real estate secured – residential loans increased 0.4%.
    • Real estate secured – commercial loans increased 0.4%.
    • Consumer loans increased 1.5%.
    • Leases increased 15.8%.
  • Total deposits declined $145.3 million to $12.6 billion as of December 31, 2012, as a 2.1% increase in core deposits was offset by a decrease in time deposits. Growth for the quarter in each major category is as follows:
    • Non-interest bearing demand deposits increased 2.3%.
    • Interest-bearing demand deposits increased 1.9%.
    • Savings deposits increased 2.3%.
    • Time deposits decreased 8.0%.
  • Net interest margin increased 14 basis points to 4.06% for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to 3.92% for the third quarter of 2012.
  • Non-interest income increased slightly to $43.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Non-interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased to $125.3 million, including pre-tax merger related expenses of $1.1 million and a $409 thousand expense relating to the early redemption of $15.5 million in certain trust preferred securities. An increase in salary and benefit expenses related principally to $4.0 million, pre-tax, in additional bonus accruals triggered by reaching the upper tier of corporate financial performance goals for 2012. Additionally, other expenses include $2.2 million, pre-tax, for settlement of litigation.
  • The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 60.96%, compared to 58.98% for the third quarter of 2012, in each case calculated after excluding pre-tax merger related expenses and loss on extinguishment of debt. This increase resulted from the additional bonus expense and litigation expense described above.
  • Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans and leases for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was 0.50% compared to 0.62% for the third quarter of 2012. Non-performing assets as a percentage of loans, leases and foreclosed real estate owned decreased 20 basis points from September 30, 2012 to 0.96% at December 31, 2012. The provision for loan and lease losses for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was $13.0 million, compared to $16.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. The allowance for loan and lease losses was $184.0 million at December 31, 2012, representing 1.43% of total loans and leases and 188% of nonaccrual loans and leases, compared to $186.9 million at September 30, 2012, representing 1.47% of total loans and leases and 158% of nonaccrual loans and leases.

Fourth Quarter/Full Year Results (2012 vs. 2011)

  • Loans and leases increased 23.4% from December 31, 2011 to $12.9 billion at December 31, 2012.
    • Growth in loans and leases consisted of:
      • $2.0 billion acquired through the acquisition of Tower Bancorp, Inc. (“Tower”) on February 17, 2012; and
      • $471.3 million of internally-generated net loan growth, resulting in organic growth in loans and leases of 4.5% for the year ended December 31, 2012.
    • Commercial loans increased 21.5%.
    • Real estate - construction loans increased 2.2%.
    • Real estate secured - residential loans increased 26.6%.
    • Real estate secured - commercial loans increased 26.4%.
    • Consumer loans increased 16.6%.
    • Leases increased 33.2%.
  • Total deposits increased 22.2% from December 31, 2011 to $12.6 billion at December 31, 2012.
    • Growth in total deposits consisted of:
      • $2.1 billion of deposits assumed in the Tower acquisition; and
      • $215.2 million in organic deposit growth, resulting in organic deposit growth of 2.1% for the year ended December 31, 2012.
    • Excluding $1.3 billion in core deposits assumed in the Tower acquisition, core deposits increased by $675.4 million representing organic core deposit growth of 9.8% for the year ended December 31, 2012.
    • Non-interest-bearing demand deposits increased 25.7%.
    • Interest-bearing demand deposits increased 31.3%.
    • Savings deposits increased 18.8%.
    • Time deposits increased 9.7%.
  • Net interest margin increased 47 basis points to 4.06% compared to 3.59% for the fourth quarter of 2011, driven primarily by the balance sheet restructuring in the fourth quarter of 2011, redemption of trust preferred securities in the third quarter of 2012 and the benefits of the Tower acquisition. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the net interest margin was 4.01%, compared with 3.60% for the year ended December 31, 2011.
  • The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2012 improved to 60.96% from 66.34% in the fourth quarter of 2011, in each case calculated after excluding pre-tax merger related expenses, bargain purchase gain, and loss on extinguishment of debt. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the efficiency ratio was 60.37%, compared with 66.83% for the year ended December 31, 2011.
  • Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans and leases for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was 0.50% compared to 0.95% for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, net charge-offs represented 0.55% of average loans and leases, compared to 1.16% for the year ended December 31, 2011. Non-performing assets as a percentage of loans, leases and foreclosed real estate was 0.96% at December 31, 2012 compared to 1.88% at December 31, 2011. The allowance for loan and lease losses was $184.0 million at December 31, 2012, representing 1.43% of total loans and leases and 188% of nonaccrual loans and leases, compared to $188.1 million at December 31, 2011, representing 1.80% of total loans and leases and 120% of nonaccrual loans and leases.
  • Return on average assets and average tangible equity (1) for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 finished at 0.95% and 14.01%, respectively. This compared to results of 0.50% and 6.98% for the same measurements, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Return on average assets and average tangible equity (1) for the year ended December 31, 2012 finished at 0.81% and 12.03%, respectively. This compared to results of 0.38% and 6.01% for the same measurements, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2011.
  • Susquehanna’s capital ratios continue to exceed management’s minimum targets, which are generally maintained at 100 basis points over proposed Basel III minimums, including the conservation buffers. The company’s tangible common ratio (2) and Tier 1 common to risk-weighted assets ratio were 7.94% and 9.94%, respectively, at December 31, 2012.

(1) Return on average tangible equity is a non-GAAP based financial measure. Please refer to the calculations and management’s reasons for using this measure in the accompanying financial schedules.

(2) The tangible common ratio is a non-GAAP based financial measure. Please refer to the calculations and management’s reasons for using this measure in the accompanying financial schedules.

Additional Events

  • On December 11, 2012, Susquehanna’s board of directors declared a dividend of $0.07 per common share for the first quarter of 2013, payment of which was accelerated and paid December 31, 2012 to shareholders of record December 21, 2012.
  • On December 13, 2012, Susquehanna redeemed $15.5 million of trust preferred securities originally issued by Patriot Bank Corp., with an effective rate of 9.5%.

Susquehanna will broadcast its fourth quarter 2012 results conference call over the Internet on January 24, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. The conference call will include management’s discussion of fourth quarter and full year 2012 results. The discussion may also include forward-looking information and financial targets. Investors will have the opportunity to listen to the conference call through a live broadcast on Susquehanna’s Web site. The event may be accessed by selecting "Investor Relations" near the top right of the home page then “Overview” and clicking on the fourth quarter webcast link. To listen to the live call, please go to the Web site at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled start time to download and install any necessary audio software. For those who are unable to listen to the live broadcast, an archived replay and podcast will be available on the Web site shortly after the call concludes.

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