Community Bank System Reports Strong Second Quarter Results

Community Bank System, Inc. (NYSE: CBU) reported net income of $21.1 million for second quarter 2013, compared with $21.1 million earned for the second quarter of 2012. Diluted earnings per share were $0.52 for the second quarter of 2013, versus $0.53 in the second quarter of last year. Year-to-date earnings increased 3.7% over the first six months of 2012, to $41.4 million ($1.02 per share).

Total revenue for the second quarter of 2013 was $85.5 million, an increase of $4.1 million, or 5.0%, compared to second quarter 2012. Higher revenue was driven by higher non-interest income from an increased deposit account base, along with continued solid organic growth in wealth management and benefits administration services. Net interest income was up 1.1% from the second quarter 2012 reflective of productive acquired and organic loan growth over the past twelve months, as well as the balance sheet restructuring activities completed in the first and second quarters of 2013. The quarterly provision for loan losses of $1.3 million was $0.8 million lower than the second quarter of 2012, reflective of lower net charge-offs and the continuation of generally stable and favorable asset quality metrics. Total operating expenses of $54.4 million for the quarter were $5.0 million, or 10.1%, higher than the second quarter of 2012, primarily driven by additional operating costs associated with the branch acquisitions completed in third quarter 2012.

“The positive operating momentum from the first quarter continued through the midpoint of 2013, with solid organic loan growth, a strong increase in fee income, responsible expense management, and very positive asset quality metrics,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Tryniski. “Our results through June 30, 2013, reflect our balanced approach to growth, both acquired and organic. Non-interest income growth remained robust in the second quarter with double-digit year-over-year increases in our deposit service fees, wealth management services and our benefit plan services. With solid growth in our loan portfolio, appropriate management of our funding costs, a strong capital position and exceptional asset quality metrics, we believe that we’re well positioned for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.”

Second quarter net interest income of $58.4 million increased 1.1% compared with the prior year period, despite a planned reduction of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, the net result of solid loan growth and the balance sheet restructuring activities. Second quarter interest income was down $6.4 million compared to the prior year quarter as a result of a $50.7 million net decrease in interest-earning assets along with a 43-basis point decline in the earning asset yield, driven by lower yields on both loans (down 63 basis points) and investment securities (down 14 basis points). This was more than offset by a $7.1 million decrease in interest expense reflecting a $246.1 million reduction in interest-bearing liabilities coupled with a 46-basis point decline in the Bank’s cost of funds. The lower cost of funds was driven by continued low market interest rates that enabled the Company to lower deposit rates to produce a 20-basis point decline in the interest-bearing deposit rate in comparison to second quarter 2012, and the extinguishment of certain higher cost borrowings. During the first and second quarters of 2013, the Company initiated and completed a balance sheet restructuring program that involved selling nearly $650 million of longer duration investment securities and using the proceeds to retire $502 million of Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) borrowings.

Second quarter non-interest income of $27.1 million increased $3.4 million, or 14.4% compared to last year’s second quarter. Deposit service revenues grew $1.3 million, or 11.9%, to $12.3 million, as a result of a 15.5% increase in deposit account balances, reflective of both the branch acquisitions and organic growth across the franchise. Wealth management revenues were up $0.9 million, or 30.4%, over second quarter 2012, driven by solid gains in trust services, asset management and advisory services, and favorable market conditions. Employee benefits administration and consulting revenues grew 8.5% to $9.4 million benefitting from new and expanded customer relationships. Noninterest income for the six months ended June 30, 2013 was $53.2 million (31% of total revenue) an increase of $6.0 million, or 12.8%, compared to the first six months of 2012.

Quarterly operating expenses of $54.4 million increased $5.0 million, or 10.1%, over the second quarter of 2012, principally reflecting the recurring operating expenses of the branches acquired in the third quarter of 2012. Salaries and employee benefits increased $3.4 million, or 12.8%, and occupancy costs grew 10.1% primarily as a result of the branch acquisitions. Other expenses increased by $0.9 million, or 5.8%, also a reflection of the additional costs of operating an expanded franchise, including customer service and account processing. Year-to-date operating expenses were $108.9 million, an increase of $10.2 million, or 10.3%, over the prior year period.

The second quarter and first half of 2013’s effective income tax rate of 29.2% was consistent with the 29.1% rate reported in the first six months of 2012, reflective of generally stable proportions of income being generated from fully taxable and non-taxable sources.

Balance Sheet Restructuring Completed

In April 2013, the Company sold an additional $250.1 million of investment securities related to its balance sheet restructuring program initiated in the first quarter of 2013, and extinguished an additional $135.0 million of FHLB borrowings. The Company realized $16.0 million of gains, and incurred $15.7 million of early extinguishment costs in the second quarter. During the first quarter of 2013 the Company sold $398.7 million of investment securities, realizing $47.8 million of gains, and utilized the proceeds to retire FHLB borrowings of $366.6 million with $47.8 million of early extinguishment costs. As a result of this initiative the size the Company’s balance sheet was reduced by approximately 7% during the first half of the year. Although these transactions were essentially neutral to both year-to-date earnings and total capital, they effectively created over $35 million of incremental regulatory (Tier 1) capital, and are expected to be modestly additive to future net interest income generation.

Financial Position

Average earning assets for the second quarter of 2013 were $6.3 billion, a decrease of $412.0 million, or 6.2%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, and reflective of the balance sheet restructuring activities described above. Compared to the prior year period, second quarter average earning assets were down $50.7 million. Ending investment securities, including cash equivalents, totaled $2.37 billion at June 30, 2013, $573.1 million lower than the prior year quarter end due to the balance sheet restructuring initiatives described above. Ending loans increased $374.3 million year-over-year, or 10.5%, reflecting both loans from the acquired branches and strong organic growth in the consumer lending portfolios. Total deposits at second quarter end increased by $759.8 million, or 15.5%, from June 30, 2012, primarily a result of the branch acquisitions in third quarter of last year. Total deposits have increased by $42.1 million, an annualized increase of 1.5%, compared to the 2012 year end. The Company’s Tier 1 leverage ratio improved to 9.43% for the current quarter, up 65 basis points from March 31, 2013 and 103 basis points higher than the fourth quarter of 2012. Tangible equity to net tangible assets declined 15 basis points from the end of the first quarter, to 7.43%, reflective of changes in the net unrealized gains on available for sale securities.

Asset Quality

The Company’s asset quality metrics for the second quarter of 2013 remained substantially better than comparative peer and industry averages and illustrate the long-term effectiveness of the Company’s disciplined risk management and underwriting standards. Net charge-offs were $0.8 million for the second quarter, compared to $2.1 million for the second quarter of 2012 and $1.4 million for the first quarter of 2013. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.62% at June 30, 2013, down from 0.71% at March 31, 2013, and down from 0.90% of total loans at June 30, 2012. The total delinquency ratio of 1.50% at the end of the second quarter was down 21 basis points from second quarter 2012 and five basis points lower than the end of the first quarter 2013. The second quarter provision for loan losses of $1.3 million was down $0.8 million, or 39%, compared to second quarter 2012, consistent with the lower level of net charge-offs and nonperforming loans in the current quarter. The allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans was 178% at June 30, 2013, compared to 131% at June 30, 2012 and 157% as of March 31, 2013.

Stock Repurchase Authorization

The Company’s Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program, in December 2012, authorizing the repurchase of up to 2.0 million shares of the Company’s common stock at the discretion of executive management. The authorization period started on January 1, 2013 and ends on December 31, 2013. The Company did not repurchase any stock in the first half of 2013.

Rebranding Pennsylvania Banking Operations

The Company announced in early June that it will rebrand its First Liberty Bank and Trust operations in Northeastern Pennsylvania to Community Bank, N.A. The Company entered the Pennsylvania market with the acquisition of First Liberty in 2001 and decided to maintain the brand to preserve the goodwill associated with the name.

“We believe that the rebranding of our Pennsylvania operations will enable our customers in these markets to have a clearer understanding of our service footprint and the range of our product and service offerings,” Mr. Tryniski said. “We also view this as an opportunity to streamline our marketing effort with a single brand, which is expected to provide enhanced efficiency.” The changeover is targeted to be completed by early September 2013.

Conference Call Scheduled

Company management will conduct an investor call at 11:00 a.m. (ET) tomorrow (Wednesday) July 24, 2013 to discuss second quarter results. The conference call can be accessed at 877-551-8082 (1-904-520-5770 if outside United States and Canada). An audio recording will be available one hour after the call until September 30, 2013, and may be accessed at 1-888-284-7564 (1-904-596-3174 if outside the United States and Canada) and entering access code 2985411. Investors may also listen live via the Internet at: http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=94759. The recording will be archived until July 24, 2014 and can be accessed at any point during this time at no cost.

This earnings release, including supporting financial tables, is available within the press releases section of the Company's investor relations website at: http://ir.communitybanksystem.com. An archived webcast of the earnings call will be available on this site for one full year.

Headquartered in DeWitt, N.Y., Community Bank System, Inc. has more than $7.0 billion in assets and over 180 customer facilities. The Company’s banking subsidiary, Community Bank, N.A. operates across Upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania Its other subsidiaries include: Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc., a national employee benefits consulting and trust administration firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas; the CBNA Insurance Agency, with offices in five northern New York communities; Community Investment Services, Inc., a wealth management firm delivering a wide range of financial products throughout the Company's branch network; and Nottingham Advisors, an investment management and advisory firm with offices in Buffalo, N.Y. and North Palm Beach, Florida. For more information, visit: www.communitybankna.com or www.firstlibertybank.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following factors, among others, could cause the actual results of CBU’s operations to differ materially from CBU’s expectations: the successful integration of operations of its acquisitions; competition; changes in economic conditions, interest rates and financial markets; and changes in legislation or regulatory requirements. CBU does not assume any duty to update forward-looking statements.
Summary of Financial Data                

(Dollars in thousands, expect per share data)

 
                   
Quarter Ended     Year-to-Date
June 30, June 30, June 30, June 30,

 
    2013     2012     2013     2012

Earnings
                       
Loan income $46,412 $47,077 $93,530 $94,715
Investment income 17,728 23,468 38,535 43,341
Total interest income 64,140 70,545 132,065 138,056
Interest expense 5,708 12,774 15,208 26,376
Net interest income 58,432 57,771 116,857 111,680
Provision for loan losses 1,321 2,155 2,714 3,799
Net interest income after provision for loan losses 57,111 55,616 114,143 107,881
Deposit service fees 12,345 11,035 23,940 21,404
Mortgage banking revenues 342 234 513 554
Other banking services 678 662 1,545 1,336
Wealth management services 4,045 3,101 7,743 6,233
Benefit trust, administration, consulting and actuarial fees 9,397 8,664 19,167 17,637
Gain on sales of investment securities 16,008 0 63,799 0
Loss on debt extinguishments (15,717) 0 (63,500) 0
Total noninterest income 27,098 23,696 53,207 47,164
Salaries and employee benefits 30,286 26,844 60,769 54,269
Occupancy and equipment and furniture 6,750 6,130 13,815 12,593
Amortization of intangible assets 1,140 1,045 2,319 2,131
Acquisition expenses 0 164 0 424
Other 16,200 15,187 32,025 29,356
Total operating expenses 54,376 49,370 108,928 98,773
Income before income taxes 29,833 29,942 58,422 56,272
Income taxes 8,711 8,871 17,059 16,375
Net income 21,122 21,071 $41,363 $39,897
Basic earnings per share $0.53 $0.53 $1.03 $1.02
Diluted earnings per share     $0.52     $0.53     $1.02     $1.01

Summary of Financial Data
                   

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 
                         
2013     2012
      2nd Qtr     1st Qtr     4th Qtr     3rd Qtr     2nd Qtr
Earnings                              
Loan income $46,412 $47,118 $49,405 $48,590 $47,077
Investment income 17,728 20,807 22,545 22,804 23,468
Total interest income 64,140 67,925 71,950 71,394 70,545
Interest expense 5,708 9,500 11,981 12,619 12,774
Net interest income 58,432 58,425 59,969 58,775 57,771
Provision for loan losses 1,321 1,393 2,666 2,643 2,155
Net interest income after provision for loan losses 57,111 57,032 57,303 56,132 55,616
Deposit service fees 12,345 11,595 12,603 12,057 11,035
Mortgage banking revenues 342 171 161 128 234
Other banking services 678 867 613 1,277 662
Wealth management services 4,045 3,698 3,449 3,194 3,101
Benefit trust, administration, consulting and actuarial fees 9,397 9,770 9,397 8,912 8,664
Gain on sales of investment securities 16,008 47,791 0 291 0
Loss on debt extinguishments (15,717) (47,783) 0 0 0
Total noninterest income 27,098 26,109 26,223 25,859 23,696
Salaries and employee benefits 30,286 30,483 29,639 28,126 26,844
Occupancy and equipment 6,750 7,065 6,665 6,541 6,130
Amortization of intangible assets 1,140 1,179 1,264 1,212 1,045
Acquisition expenses & litigation settlement 0 0 3,027 4,796 164
Other 16,200 15,825 16,304 15,410 15,187
Total operating expenses 54,376 54,552 56,899 56,085 49,370
Income before income taxes 29,833 28,589 26,627 25,906 29,942
Income taxes 8,711 8,348 7,823 7,539 8,871
Net income 21,122 20,241 18,804 18,367 21,071
Basic earnings per share $0.53 $0.51 $0.47 $0.46 $0.53
Diluted earnings per share     $0.52     $0.50     $0.47     $0.46     $0.53
Profitability                              
Return on assets 1.21% 1.11% 1.00% 0.98% 1.20%
Return on equity 9.70% 9.18% 8.20% 8.12% 9.82%
Return on tangible equity(3) 16.38% 15.32% 13.55% 13.27% 16.01%
Noninterest income/operating income (FTE) (1) 30.2% 29.5% 29.0% 28.8% 27.6%
Efficiency ratio (2)     59.9%     60.3%     58.2%     56.5%     56.1%
Components of Net Interest Margin (FTE)                              
Loan yield 4.79% 4.98% 5.16% 5.25% 5.42%
Cash equivalents yield 0.26% 0.26% 0.26% 0.26% 0.34%
Investment yield 3.83% 3.79% 3.85% 3.82% 3.97%
Earning asset yield 4.35% 4.44% 4.54% 4.54% 4.78%
Interest-bearing deposit rate 0.24% 0.28% 0.34% 0.40% 0.44%
Borrowing rate 3.36% 3.76% 3.89% 3.56% 2.85%
Cost of all interest-bearing funds 0.46% 0.73% 0.89% 0.94% 0.99%
Cost of funds (includes DDA) 0.38% 0.61% 0.74% 0.78% 0.84%
Net interest margin (FTE) 3.98% 3.86% 3.83% 3.79% 3.96%
Fully tax-equivalent adjustment     $3,644     $4,022     $4,209     $4,332     $4,335
Summary of Financial Data                    

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 
                         
2013     2012
      2nd Qtr     1st Qtr     4th Qtr     3rd Qtr     2nd Qtr
Average Balances                              
Loans $3,899,744 $3,860,722 $3,834,068 $3,708,143 $3,512,427
Cash equivalents 148,188 83,812 106,851 138,251 10,017
Taxable investment securities 1,565,757 1,965,073 2,035,651 2,065,121 2,091,575
Nontaxable investment securities 642,424 655,694 691,525 717,608 692,839
Total interest-earning assets 6,256,113 6,565,301 6,668,095 6,629,123 6,306,858
Total assets 7,003,823 7,368,906 7,506,371 7,426,818 7,058,473
Interest-bearing deposits 4,581,206 4,581,130 4,545,347 4,409,813 4,003,213
Borrowings 358,627 686,483 830,149 918,789 1,182,707
Total interest-bearing liabilities 4,939,833 5,267,613 5,375,496 5,328,602 5,185,920
Noninterest-bearing deposits 1,095,774 1,095,256 1,098,193 1,066,689 907,153
Shareholders' equity     873,108     893,746     912,321     900,147     862,747
Balance Sheet Data                              
Cash and cash equivalents $148,573 $330,298 $228,558 $287,753 $130,902
Investment securities 2,366,512 2,448,120 2,818,527 2,895,285 2,931,918
Loans:
Business lending 1,225,671 1,222,835 1,233,944 1,233,928 1,216,309
Consumer mortgage 1,527,341 1,480,192 1,448,415 1,390,130 1,289,155
Consumer indirect 663,924 639,560 647,518 642,196 591,249
Home equity 347,335 353,365 364,225 372,493 310,555
Consumer direct 171,727 165,649 171,474 173,710 154,402
Total loans 3,935,998 3,861,601 3,865,576 3,812,457 3,561,670
Allowance for loan losses 43,473 42,913 42,888 42,817 41,828
Intangible assets, net 384,815 385,954 387,134 388,398 358,435
Other assets 228,291 238,013 239,893 229,297 225,234
Total assets 7,020,716 7,221,073 7,496,800 7,570,373 7,166,331
Deposits:
Noninterest-bearing 1,120,683 1,115,417 1,110,994 1,098,135 944,695
Non-maturity interest-bearing 3,608,829 3,678,905 3,501,630 3,533,837 2,942,333
Time 940,618 980,502 1,015,415 1,076,657 1,023,324
Total deposits 5,670,130 5,774,824 5,628,039 5,708,629 4,910,352
Borrowings 322,319 361,422 728,061 728,116 1,157,872
Subordinated debt held by unconsolidated subsidiary trusts 102,085 102,079 102,073 102,067 102,060
Accrued interest and other liabilities 76,151 105,454 135,849 126,962 110,988
Total liabilities 6,170,685 6,343,779 6,594,022 6,665,774 6,281,272
Shareholders' equity 850,031 877,294 902,778 904,599 885,059
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity     7,020,716     7,221,073     7,496,800     7,570,373     7,166,331
Capital                              
Tier 1 leverage ratio 9.43% 8.78% 8.40% 8.32% 8.98%
Tangible equity/net tangible assets (3) 7.43% 7.58% 7.62% 7.54% 8.09%
Diluted weighted average common shares O/S 40,558 40,321 40,179 40,139 40,057
Period end common shares outstanding 40,099 39,989 39,626 39,571 39,472
Cash dividends declared per common share $0.27 $0.27 $0.27 $0.27 $0.26
Book value $21.20 $21.94 $22.78 $22.86 $22.42
Tangible book value(3) $12.35 $13.01 $13.72 $13.73 $14.00
Common stock price (end of period)     $30.85     $29.63     $27.36     $28.19     $27.12
Summary of Financial Data                    

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 
                         
2013     2012
      2nd Qtr     1st Qtr     4th Qtr     3rd Qtr     2nd Qtr
Asset Quality                              
Nonaccrual loans $22,996 $24,806 $26,360 $27,370 $28,571
Accruing loans 90+ days delinquent 1,440 2,560 2,748 3,349 3,437
Total nonperforming loans 24,436 27,366 29,108 30,719 32,008
Other real estate owned (OREO) 5,066 6,838 4,788 3,384 2,899
Total nonperforming assets 29,502 34,204 33,896 34,103 34,907
Net charge-offs 762 1,368 2,596 1,654 2,136
Allowance for loan losses/loans outstanding 1.10% 1.11% 1.11% 1.12% 1.17%
Nonperforming loans/loans outstanding 0.62% 0.71% 0.75% 0.81% 0.90%
Allowance for loan losses/nonperforming loans 178% 157% 147% 139% 131%
Net charge-offs/average loans 0.08% 0.14% 0.27% 0.18% 0.24%
Delinquent loans/ending loans 1.50% 1.55% 1.92% 1.79% 1.71%
Loan loss provision/net charge-offs 173% 102% 103% 160% 101%
Nonperforming assets/total assets     0.42%     0.47%     0.45%     0.45%     0.49%
Asset Quality (excluding loans acquired since 1/1/09)                              
Nonaccrual loans $18,272 $19,756 $21,928 $21,733 $22,395
Accruing loans 90+ days delinquent 1,349 2,164 2,355 3,038 3,070
Total nonperforming loans 19,621 21,920 24,283 24,771 25,465
Other real estate owned (OREO) 2,963 3,844 1,397 1,671 1,577
Total nonperforming assets 22,584 25,764 25,680 26,442 27,042
Net charge-offs 604 1,102 1,863 1,754 1,217
Allowance for loan losses/loans outstanding 1.19% 1.21% 1.21% 1.24% 1.28%
Nonperforming loans/loans outstanding 0.55% 0.64% 0.71% 0.74% 0.79%
Allowance for loan losses/nonperforming loans 215% 190% 171% 167% 161%
Net charge-offs/average loans 0.07% 0.13% 0.19% 0.21% 0.16%
Delinquent loans/ending loans 1.44% 1.48% 1.82% 1.65% 1.62%
Loan loss provision/net charge-offs 210% 113% 102% 119% 180%
Nonperforming assets/total assets     0.34%     0.38%     0.36%     0.37%     0.40%

(1)
 

Excludes gains and losses on sales of investment securities and debt prepayments.

(2)

Excludes intangible amortization, acquisition expenses, litigation settlement, and gains and losses on sales of investment securities and debt prepayments.

(3)

Includes deferred tax liabilities (of approximately $30.0 million at 6/30/13) generated from tax deductible goodwill.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following factors, among others, could cause the actual results of CBU’s operations to differ materially from CBU’s expectations: the successful integration of operations of its acquisitions; competition; changes in economic conditions, interest rates and financial markets; and changes in legislation or regulatory requirements. CBU does not assume any duty to update forward-looking statements.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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