First Financial Holdings ( FFCH) Q4 2010 Earnings Call October 27, 2010 2:00 pm ET Executives Dorothy B. Wright - SVP-IR and Corporate Secretary R. Wayne Hall - President and CEO Joseph W. Amy - EVP and Chief Credit Officer Blaise B. Bettendorf - EVP and CFO Analysts Adam Barkstrom - Sterne, Agee & Leach Christopher Marinac - FIG Partners, LLC Jeff Harralson - Keefe, Bruyette & Woods David Grayson - Suntrust Robinson Humphrey Rupesh Sahu - Titan Capital Presentation Operator
Previous Statements by FFCH
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Before we begin, I need to remind you that during the course of this call, the company may make forward-looking statements about future events and future financial performance, management plans, objectives or goals for future operations, products or services, forecasts on financial and other performance measures and statement about the company’s general outlook for economic and business condition. You should not undue reliance on any forward-looking statement which speaks only as of the date made. These statements are subject to numerous finance factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. For a list of some of these factors, please see the company’s forward-looking statement disclosure on our fourth quarter and fiscal year-end 2010 earnings release.I will now turn the call over to Wayne. R. Wayne Hall Thanks D.B. Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining us on the call today and for your interest on First Financial. I encourage you to review our fourth quarter and fiscal year-end earnings release if you have not done so already. As D.B. mentioned, it is available on our website and we will be taking questions at the end of the call. We have completed one most difficult and challenging years for our company and the country. The financial sector as a whole has been dramatically affected by economic downturn over the last 24 months. While we recorded a loss for the year, gain levels are encouraging, our capital remains strong and we believe that we are well-positioned for when the economy turns to a more positive (inaudible) direction. We have made (inaudible) investments and (inaudible) capital over the last year. Our talented and skilled management team is leading the company to fundamental stability, improve deficiencies, and we are executing on a strategic initiatives. We are pleased with the results of this quarter and the (inaudible) improvements that we have posted. I will like to review some highlights with you.
First, despite our credit challenges and (inaudible) of credit (inaudible) loan demand, we still maintain a solid performance in our core business. Our free tax, free provision profit remain solid at $15.2 million for the quarter and $64 million for the year. This is compared to $66.7 million from the prior year and is better than anticipated considering the reductions on our loan balances which are down $ 26.5 million for the last quarter and that is down to $4 million from the prior year-end. We are pleased with our free tax, free provision results as it reflects the work we’ve done to remain focus on generating revenue and operating as efficiently as possible (inaudible) Today, we reported a net loss for the quarter of $1.2 million. This is a marked improvement from the net loss of $12 million from the (inaudible) quarter and is comparative in net loss of $1.3 million from the same period last year. Non-interest income was $19.1 million up from the link quarter total of $18.7 million and up from $17.2 million for the same quarter last year. Our net interest margin remains strong at 3.91% on a fully-taxed equivalent basis for the quarter. As compared to the (inaudible) quarter, we reported inquiries and mortgage and other loan income on a lower OTTI charge on investment securities. While other income was down as a result of the final settlement from the FTLC related to our acquisition of (inaudible) Bank. This settlement totals $1.5 million and was stated last quarter. Increases on non-interest expense are related to higher (inaudible) calls which Blaise will discuss. The loss for the quarter was driven by long lost provision related to the continuous stretched on our loan portfolio. However, the provision was down from the linked-quarter and lower than the same quarter of the prior year. Joe will address our credit metrics in more detail. Now, I will turn the call over to Blaise Bettendorf and she will tell (inaudible) of the details of our results. Blaise?Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com