Synovus Financial (SNV)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 27, 2011 8:00 am ET


Thomas J. Prescott - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Kevin J. Howard - Chief Credit Officer and Executive Vice President

Patrick A. Reynolds - Director of Investor Relations

Kessel D. Stelling - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Chairman of Executive Committee


Craig Siegenthaler - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Jennifer H. Demba - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

Kevin J. St. Pierre - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Jefferson Harralson - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division

Nancy A. Bush - NAB Research, LLC, Research Division

Ken A. Zerbe - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

John G. Pancari - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Steven A. Alexopoulos - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Brian Foran - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Michael Turner - Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division

Kevin Fitzsimmons - Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., Research Division



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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Synovus' Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Pat Reynolds, with Investor Relations. Sir, the floor is yours.

Patrick A. Reynolds

Thank you, Kate, and I thank all of you for joining us today on our call. During this call, we will be referencing the slides and the press release that are available within the Investor Relations section of our website at Our presenters today will be Kessel Stelling, President and Chief Executive Officer; Tommy Prescott, Chief Financial Officer; and Kevin Howard, Chief Credit Officer.

Before we begin, I need to remind you that our comments may include forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risk and uncertainties, and the actual results could vary materially. We list these factors that might cause results to differ materially in our press release and in our SEC filings, which are available on our website. Further, we do not intend to update any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date these statements are made. We disclaim any responsibility to do so.

During the call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures in reference to the company's performance. You can find a reconciliation of these measures to GAAP financial measures in the appendix of the presentation. Finally, Synovus is not responsible for and does not edit or guarantee the accuracy of earnings teleconference transcripts provided by third parties. The only authorized webcasts are located on our website. With respect to time available this morning and the desire to answer everyone's questions, we ask you to initially limit your time to 2 questions. If we have more time available after everyone's initial 2 questions, we will reopen the queue for follow-up questions. And now I'll turn it over to Kessel.

Kessel D. Stelling

Thank you, Pat and thanks to all of you who are listening in this morning. You have seen our release by now and the headline that we did report a profit for the third quarter of 2011. And as I said in the release, we are pleased to return to profitability, it's a key milestone for all of our stakeholders certainly for our employees, for our customers and for our shareholders. Many of whom are listening on the call today, so let me jump right in to the deck on Page 4 and start with our financial results summary.

As you can see, net income available to common shareholders was $15.7 million compared to a net loss of $53.5 million in the second quarter of 2011 and a loss of $195.8 million in the third quarter of 2010. Our net income per diluted common share of $0.02 compares to a net loss of $0.07 in the second quarter of 2011 and a net loss of $0.25 in the third quarter of 2010. We're pleased that our pretax pre-credit cost income was up $2.5 million to $119.4 million. That's up $2.5 million from the second quarter of 2011. Our total credit costs were $142.5 million, down $15.4 million or almost 10% from the second quarter of 2011, and down $158.4 million or 52.6% in the third quarter of 2010. Kevin Howard will talk in-depth about that later.

Our earnings did include net securities gains of approximately $63 million. Tommy Prescott will discuss the investment portfolio repositioning later in this presentation and take any questions on that.

A big part of our story and a big part of our recovery continues to be that our credit metrics continue to improve. So let me lift out some slides that Kevin will follow later and just talk a little bit about them.

We're on Page 5. Credit cost declined for the ninth consecutive quarter and as you see down 9.8% from the second quarter and again almost 53% from the third quarter. Our charge-offs were $138.3 million or 2.72% compared to $167.2 million, 3.22% in the second quarter, and $237.2 million or 4.12% in the third quarter of 2010. As you recall, Kevin had guided in the 3% to 3.5%, and we're pleased to see that number come in at 2.72%. Our distressed asset sales totaled $168.6 million in the third quarter, slightly higher than we had guided, but pleased to continue to work down our levels of distressed assets.

If you'll continue on Page 6. Again, on our credit metrics, our NPL inflows totaled $222 million. As many of you will recall, who were on the call last quarter, we have seen a significant decline in the second quarter from $306.5 million in the first to $231.1 million in the second and had guided that we expected inflows for the third quarter to be somewhat stable or flat compared to the third quarter. We were actually pleased to see the slight decline at $222 million and expect that to further decline in the fourth quarter and again, Kevin will talk about that as well.

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