Zions Bancorporation Reports Earnings Of $1.36 Per Diluted Common Share For First Quarter 2007
April 19, 2007
Nevada State Bank’s parent company, Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION) (“Zions” or “the Company”) today reported first quarter net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $149.7 million, or $1.36 per diluted common share. This represents an increase of 8.7% and 6.3% over the $137.6 million, or $1.28 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2006.The return on average common equity was 12.25% compared to 12.08% for the fourth quarter of 2006 and 12.92% for the first quarter of 2006.
The Company completed its acquisition of The Stockmen’s Bancorp, Inc. effective January 17, 2007. Certain comparisons to 2006 periods reflect the impact of this acquisition.
First Quarter 2007 Key Performance Highlights • Loan growth of $1.3 billion ($547 million excluding Stockmen’s). • Core deposits increased $559 million (decreased $365 million excluding Stockmen’s). • Net interest margin of 4.51%, down nine basis points from fourth quarter 2006. • Continued strong credit quality. • Efficiency ratio of 57.8%. • Net earnings reduced $0.03 per share from the surrender of certain bank-owned life insurance.
“In January, we closed on the acquisition of The Stockmen’s Bancorp and successfully converted Stockmen’s systems in February,” said Harris H. Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer. “We welcome the wonderful clients and employees of Stockmen’s into National Bank of Arizona.”
On-balance-sheet net loans and leases were $35.9 billion at March 31, 2007, an increase of approximately $1.3 billion or 14.7% annualized from $34.7 billion at December 31, 2006, and an increase of approximately $4.8 billion or 15.4% from $31.1 billion at March 31, 2006. Excluding $730 million of loans acquired from Stockmen’s, on-balance-sheet net loans and leases increased approximately $547 million or 6.3% annualized during the quarter. Loan growth was concentrated primarily in the commercial and commercial real estate categories principally at Zions Bank and Amegy Bank of Texas.
Total deposits at March 31, 2007 increased $1.3 billion to $36.3 billion, an annualized increase of 15.4%, from $35.0 billion at December 31, 2006, and increased $3.5 billion or 10.5% from $32.9 billion at March 31, 2006. Excluding $1.1 billion acquired from Stockmen’s, total deposits increased $249 million or 2.8% annualized during the quarter.
Core deposits increased $559 million or 7.3% annualized during the quarter to $31.2 billion compared to $30.7 billion at December 31, 2006, and increased $1.1 billion or 3.5% compared to $30.2 billion at March 31, 2006. Excluding $924 million acquired from Stockmen’s, core deposits decreased $365 million during the quarter. Noninterest-bearing demand deposits decreased $249 million to $9.8 billion at March 31, 2007 compared to $10.0 billion at December 31, 2006. Excluding $258 million acquired from Stockmen’s, noninterest-bearing demand deposits decreased approximately $507 million.
Net Interest Income
Net interest income for the first quarter of 2007 decreased $2.0 million or 1.7% annualized to $457.1 million compared to $459.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, and increased $34.2 million or 8.1% compared to $422.8 million for the first quarter of 2006. Taxable-equivalent net interest income for the first quarter of 2007 was $463.7 million compared to $465.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and $428.8 million for the first quarter of 2006. The net interest margin was 4.51% for the first quarter of 2007 compared to 4.60% for the fourth quarter of 2006 and 4.69% for the first quarter of 2006. The margin compression for the quarter resulted from competitive pricing pressures, a continued shift in the interest-bearing deposit mix to more expensive products, and the decline in noninterest-bearing demand deposits, which necessitated funding virtually the entire growth in earning assets with higher cost interest-bearing liabilities.
Noninterest income for the first quarter of 2007 was $145.4 million compared to $139.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and $128.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. Loan sales and servicing income for the first quarter included a pretax impairment charge of $4.2 million on retained interests from certain previous small business loan securitizations due to accelerated prepayment speeds. A pretax impairment charge of $1.9 million for the same reason was included in the fourth quarter of 2006. Other noninterest income included a pretax gain of approximately $3.2 million from the previously announced sale of the Company’s Grant Hatch insurance agency and certain other insurance assets.
Noninterest expense for the first quarter of 2007 was $352.0 million compared to $342.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and $324.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. The $16.0 million increase during the quarter in salaries and employee benefits primarily included $5.9 million from increased payroll taxes, $3.3 million from the Stockmen’s acquisition, and $5.0 million from the impact of favorable employee benefits and bonus adjustments recorded and discussed in the previous quarter.
The efficiency ratio for the first quarter of 2007 was 57.8% compared to 56.7% for the fourth quarter of 2006 and 58.2% for the first quarter of 2006.
Income taxes for the first quarter of 2007 included approximately $2.9 million of taxes and penalties to surrender certain bank-owned life insurance contracts, which reduced net earnings by approximately $0.03 per diluted share.
Effective January 1, 2007, the Company adopted FASB Interpretation No. 48 (“FIN 48”), Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes. As a result of adopting this new accounting guidance, the Company reduced existing reserves for uncertain tax positions by approximately $10.4 million at January 1, 2007 and recognized a cumulative effect adjustment as an increase to retained earnings.
Nonperforming assets were $82.5 million at March 31, 2007 compared to $82.0 million at December 31, 2006 and $96.6 million at March 31, 2006. The ratio of nonperforming assets to net loans and leases and other real estate owned was 0.23% at March 31, 2007 compared to 0.24% at December 31, 2006 and 0.31% at March 31, 2006. Net loan and lease charge-offs for the first quarter of 2007 were $10.1 million or 0.11% annualized of average loans. This compares with $17.9 million or 0.21% annualized of average loans for the fourth quarter of 2006, which included a $10.9 million loss on an equipment lease, and $11.7 million or 0.15% annualized of average loans for the first quarter of 2006.
The provision for loan losses was $9.1 million for the first quarter of 2007 compared to $26.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and $14.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. The amount of the provision reflects continued strong credit quality and somewhat slower loan growth during the quarter. The combined provisions for loan losses and unfunded lending commitments were $9.4 million for the first quarter of 2007, $27.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, and $14.2 million for the first quarter of 2006.
The total increase to the allowance for loan losses of $6.1 million to $371.2 million at March 31, 2007 included $7.1 million from the Stockmen’s acquisition. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans and leases was 1.03% at March 31, 2007 compared to 1.05% at December 31, 2006 and 1.10% at March 31, 2006. The allowance was 532.5% of nonperforming loans at March 31, 2007. The combined allowances for credit losses (allowance for loan losses plus the allowance for unfunded lending commitments) were $391.2 million or 1.09% of net loans and leases at March 31, 2007 compared to $384.5 million or 1.11% at December 31, 2006 and $359.1 million or 1.15% at March 31, 2006.
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 1,210,114 common shares for $102.9 million during the first quarter of 2007 at an average price of $85.01 per share. At March 31, 2007, approximately $272.2 million of the repurchase authorization remained.
The Company’s tangible equity ratio was 6.59% at March 31, 2007 compared to 6.51% at December 31, 2006 and 5.51% at March 31, 2006. The increase year over year includes the effect of the issuance of preferred stock in December 2006, and both the year over year and quarterly increases include the effect of increased retained earnings and reduced accumulated other comprehensive loss.
Weighted average common and common-equivalent shares outstanding for the first quarter of 2007 were 110,106,637 compared to 108,221,096 for the fourth quarter of 2006 and 107,724,724 for the first quarter of 2006. Common shares outstanding at March 31, 2007 were 109,052,149 compared to 106,720,884 at December 31, 2006 and 106,070,045 at March 31, 2006. The increase for the quarter was primarily due to the issuance of approximately 2.6 million shares for the Stockmen’s acquisition.
Zions will host a conference call to discuss these first quarter results at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon (April 19, 2007). Media representatives, analysts and the public are invited to listen to this discussion by calling 1-866-383-7998 and entering the passcode 78643026, 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 Thursday, April 19, through midnight ET on Thursday, April 26, by dialing 1-888-286-8010 and entering the passcode 79865360. 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 Western and Southwestern 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 2006 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.