Zions Bancorporation Reports Earnings Of $1.32 Per Diluted Common Share For Fourth Quarter 2006
Record Annual Earnings of $5.36 per Diluted Common Share for 2006
January 23, 2007
Nevada State Bank's parent company, Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION) ("Zions" or "the Company") today reported fourth quarter net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $142.7 million, an increase of 11.4% over the $128.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. Net earnings per diluted common share of $1.32 for the fourth quarter of 2006 were unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2005. The return on average common equity was 12.08% for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to 13.41% for the third quarter of 2006.
Net earnings applicable to common shareholders for 2006 increased 20.7% to $579.3 million or $5.36 per diluted share compared to $480.1 million or $5.16 per diluted share for 2005. The return on average common equity for 2006 was 12.89% compared to 15.86% for 2005.
All comparisons to the 2005 periods reflect the impact of the Company's acquisition of Amegy Bancorporation, Inc., which was completed in December 2005.
Fourth Quarter 2006 Key Performance Drivers
"Not only was this an excellent quarter, but the year 2006 was a great year for Zions Bancorporation," stated Harris Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer. "The Company produced organic loan growth of over 15%, maintained a high and stable net interest margin in a difficult rate environment, maintained consistently high credit quality, and earned a record $579.3 million."
As previously disclosed in a Form 8-K filed on January 11, 2007, earnings for the fourth quarter of 2006 were unfavorably impacted by the following three items:
On-balance-sheet net loans and leases were $34.7 billion at December 31, 2006, an increase of approximately $1.0 billion or 11.4% annualized from $33.7 billion at September 30, 2006, and an increase of 15.1% from $30.1 billion at December 31, 2005. Loan growth during the fourth quarter was concentrated in the commercial lending category principally at Zions Bank and Amegy Bank of Texas.
Total deposits at December 31, 2006 increased $1.3 billion to $35.0 billion, an annualized increase of 15.9%, from $33.6 billion at September 30, 2006, and increased 7.2% over the balances reported one year ago. Core deposits increased $652 million, or 8.7% annualized, during the quarter to $30.7 billion compared to $30.0 billion at September 30, 2006, and increased $552 million, or 1.8%, compared to $30.1 billion at December 31, 2005. Average noninterest-bearing demand deposits were essentially unchanged from the prior quarter. The quarterly increase in total deposits included approximately $270 million of time deposits placed by The Stockmen's Bank with two affiliate banks of the Company in October 2006. The Company's acquisition of Stockmen's was announced on September 11, 2006 and was completed on January 17, 2007.
Net Interest Income
Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased $12.5 million, or 11.1% annualized, to $459.0 million compared to $446.5 million for the third quarter of 2006, and increased $84.2 million, or 22.5%, compared to $374.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. Taxable-equivalent net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $465.3 million compared to $452.6 million for the third quarter of 2006 and $380.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. For the fourth quarter of 2006, the net interest margin was 4.60% compared to 4.58% for the third quarter of 2006 and 4.62% for the fourth quarter of 2005. In addition, the net interest spread for the fourth quarter of 2006 was essentially unchanged from the third quarter of 2006.
For the fourth quarter of 2006, noninterest income was $139.9 million compared to $145.3 million for the third quarter of 2006 and $117.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The decrease in the fourth quarter is primarily due to the decrease from $12.9 million for the third quarter to $6.3 million for the fourth quarter in gains on venture capital investments included in equity securities gains. However, net of minority interest, income taxes, and other expenses, venture capital investments increased net income by $2.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to $1.7 million for the third quarter. Loan sales and servicing income for the fourth quarter included a pretax impairment charge of $1.9 million on retained interests from certain previous small business loan securitizations due to accelerated prepayment speeds; a $4.1 million pretax impairment charge for similar reasons was included in the third quarter 2006 results.
Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $342.9 million compared to $330.0 million for the third quarter of 2006 and $283.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The increase is primarily due to the $7.3 million in debt extinguishment costs previously discussed. Salaries and employee benefits for the fourth quarter were favorably impacted by approximately $5 million as a result of lower medical costs in the Company's HDHP/HSA health plans, and cost adjustments to bonus and other employee benefit plans.
The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2006 was 56.7% compared to 55.2% for the third quarter of 2006 and 57.0% for the fourth quarter of 2005. Exclusive of the $7.3 million debt extinguishment costs, the efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter would be 55.5%. The efficiency ratio for the third quarter of 2006 was favorably impacted by the full amount of venture capital gains previously discussed. When adjusted to exclude from revenue the related minority interest, the efficiency ratio would have been 56.1% for the third quarter.
Nonperforming assets were $82.0 million at December 31, 2006 and include the $6.2 million of equipment previously discussed. This compares to $74.8 million at September 30, 2006 and $89.1 million at December 31, 2005. The ratio of nonperforming assets to net loans and leases and other real estate owned was 0.24% at December 31, 2006 compared to 0.22% at September 30, 2006 and 0.30% at December 31, 2005.
For the fourth quarter of 2006, net loan and lease charge-offs were $17.9 million or 0.21% annualized of average loans, which include the $10.9 million loss on equipment lease previously discussed. This compares with $6.5 million or 0.08% annualized for the third quarter of 2006 and $8.2 million or 0.13% annualized for the fourth quarter of 2005. For the year 2006, net loan and lease charge-offs were $45.8 million or 0.14% of average loans compared to $25.0 million or 0.10% for 2005.
The provision for loan losses was $26.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to $14.4 million for the third quarter of 2006 and $10.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The provision in excess of net charge-offs for the quarter was mainly the result of the Company's continued strong loan growth. The combined provisions for loan losses and unfunded lending commitments were $27.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, $15.4 million for the third quarter of 2006, and $10.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2005. The combined provisions for the year 2006 were $73.8 million compared to $46.4 million for 2005.
At December 31, 2006, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans and leases was 1.05% compared to 1.06% at September 30, 2006 and 1.12% at December 31, 2005. At December 31, 2006, the allowance was 548.5% of nonperforming loans. The combined allowances for credit losses (allowance for loan losses plus the allowance for unfunded lending commitments) were $384.5 million or 1.11% of net loans and leases at December 31, 2006 and $356.5 million or 1.18% at December 31, 2005.
In December 2006 the Company resumed its stock repurchase plan, which had been suspended since July 2005 because of the Amegy acquisition. Under the $400 million repurchase authorization, the Company repurchased 308,359 common shares for $24.9 million during December 2006 at an average price of $81.05 per share.
As previously discussed, the Company declared a preferred stock dividend of $3.8 million in December 2006 for the quarterly dividend through and to be paid on March 15, 2007.
The Company's tangible equity ratio, which includes the impact of the perpetual noncumulative preferred stock, was 6.51% at December 31, 2006 compared to 5.92% at September 30, 2006 and 5.28% at December 31, 2005. The increase is mainly due to the issuance of the preferred stock in December 2006, increased retained earnings during the quarter, and a reduction in the accumulated other comprehensive loss. The Company's tangible common equity ratio was 5.98% at December 31, 2006 compared to 5.92% at September 30, 2006 and 5.28% at December 31, 2005.
Weighted average common and common-equivalent shares outstanding for the fourth quarter of 2006 were 108,221,096 compared to 108,061,423 for the third quarter of 2006 and 96,963,446 for the fourth quarter of 2005. Common shares outstanding at December 31, 2006 were 106,720,884 compared to 106,804,606 at September 30, 2006 and 105,147,562 at December 31, 2005.
The previously disclosed acquisition of The Stockmen's Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Kingman, Arizona, was approved by regulators and by Stockmen's shareholders, and was completed on January 17, 2007. The Company issued 2.6 million shares of its common stock to Stockmen's shareholders in completing this acquisition.
Zions will host a conference call to discuss these fourth quarter results at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon (January 23, 2007). Media representatives, analysts and the public are invited to listen to this discussion by calling 1-866-700-7477 and entering the passcode 34521752, or via on-demand webcast. A link to the webcast will be available on the Zions Bancorporation Web site at www.zionsbancorporation.com. A replay of the call will be available from approximately 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 23, through midnight ET on Tuesday, January 30, by dialing 1-888-286-8010 and entering the passcode 50495881. The webcast of the conference call will also be archived and available for 30 days.
About Zions Bancorporation
Zions Bancorporation is one of the nation's premier financial services companies, consisting of a collection of great banks in select high growth markets. Zions operates its banking businesses under local management teams and community identities through over 500 offices and approximately 600 ATMs in ten states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. The Company is a national leader in Small Business Administration lending and public finance advisory services. In addition, Zions is included in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Financial 100 indices. Investor information and links to subsidiary banks can be accessed at www.zionsbancorporation.com.
Statements in this news release that are based on other than historical data are forward-looking, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations or forecasts of future events. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, nor should they be relied upon as representing management's views as of any subsequent date. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from those presented, either expressed or implied, in this news release. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: the Company's ability to successfully execute its business plans and achieve its objectives; changes in general economic and financial market conditions, either nationally or locally in areas in which the Company conducts its operations; changes in interest rates; continuing consolidation in the financial services industry; new litigation or changes in existing litigation; increased competitive challenges and expanding product and pricing pressures among financial institutions; legislation or regulatory changes which adversely affect the Company's operations or business; and changes in accounting policies or procedures as may be required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory agencies.
Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in the 2005 Annual Report on Form 10-K of Zions Bancorporation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and available at the SEC's Internet site ( http://www.sec.gov ).
The Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any factors or to publicly announce the result of revisions to any of the forward-looking statements included herein to reflect future events or developments.
Contact: Clark Hinckley
Tel: (801) 524-4787