Zions Bancorporation Reports Earnings Of $1.22 Per Diluted Common Share For Third Quarter 2007
Las Vegas Nevada
October 18, 2007
Nevada State Bank’s parent company, Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION) (“Zions” or “the Company”) today reported third quarter net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $132.0 million, or $1.22 per diluted common share, compared to $153.7 million or $1.42 per diluted common share for the third quarter of 2006. The return on average common equity was 10.50% compared to 12.50% for the second quarter of 2007 and 13.41% for the third quarter of 2006.
Comparisons to 2006 include the impact of the Company’s acquisition of The Stockmen’s Bancorp, Inc., which became effective January 17, 2007.
Third Quarter 2007 Key Performance Highlights Compared to Second Quarter 2007
We were pleased by the strength of loan growth during the quarter. Unfortunately, these positive results were overshadowed by the effect of weaker credit conditions in the Southwestern residential real estate development markets, as well as lagging low-cost deposit growth.” said Harris H. Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer.
Year-to-date net earnings applicable to common shareholders were $437.2 million or $4.01 per diluted common share compared to $436.6 million or $4.04 per diluted common share for the same period in 2006. The return on average common equity for the first nine months of 2007 was 11.74% compared to 13.18% for the first nine months of 2006.
On-balance-sheet net loans and leases were $37.8 billion at September 30, 2007, an increase of approximately $1.0 billion or 11.2% annualized from $36.8 billion at June 30, 2007, and an increase of approximately $4.1 billion or 12.2% from $33.7 billion at September 30, 2006. Loan growth during the quarter was concentrated primarily in the commercial lending and secondarily in the commercial real estate categories, principally at Zions Bank, Amegy Bank of Texas, and Vectra Bank Colorado.
Average core deposits for the third quarter of 2007 increased $0.2 billion or 2.5% annualized to $31.1 billion compared to $30.9 billion for the second quarter of 2007 and increased $1.6 billion or 5.6% compared to $29.4 billion for the third quarter of 2006. Average noninterest-bearing demand deposits for the third quarter of 2007 were $9.4 billion compared to $9.6 billion for the second quarter of 2007. Average total deposits for the third quarter of 2007 decreased to $35.8 billion compared to $36.0 billion for the second quarter of 2007 and increased $2.8 billion or 8.5% compared to $33.0 billion for the third quarter of 2006.
Net Interest Income
Net interest income for the third quarter of 2007 increased $7.3 million or 6.2% annualized to $476.6 million compared to $469.3 million for the second quarter of 2007, and increased $30.1 million or 6.7% compared to $446.5 million for the third quarter of 2006. Taxable-equivalent net interest income for the third quarter of 2007 increased $7.1 million or 5.9% annualized to $483.1 million compared to $476.1 million for the second quarter of 2007, and increased $30.5 million or 6.7% from $452.6 million for the third quarter of 2006.
During the third quarter of 2007, the Company purchased asset-backed commercial paper from Lockhart Funding, LLC, a qualifying special-purpose entity sponsored by Zions Bank. The amount of commercial paper included in money market investments on the Company’s average balance sheet for the third quarter was approximately $232 million. The amount of the purchased commercial paper outstanding at September 30, 2007 was approximately $500 million. These purchases were made to provide liquidity to Lockhart during the recent disruptions in the credit markets. As of October 17, 2007, the amount of purchased commercial paper had decreased to approximately $174 million.
The net interest margin was 4.44% for the third quarter of 2007 compared to 4.53% for the second quarter of 2007 and 4.58% for the third quarter of 2006. The decrease in the net interest margin during the quarter primarily resulted from the decline in average noninterest-bearing deposit balances and from the strong loan growth being funded mainly by increased nondeposit borrowings. The net interest margin was not meaningfully impacted during the quarter by the Federal Reserve’s reduction in September of its targeted Federal Funds rate.
Noninterest income for the third quarter of 2007 was $145.8 million compared to $141.3 million for the second quarter of 2007 and $145.3 million for the third quarter of 2006. Loan sales and servicing income increased during the quarter primarily due to the absence of pretax impairment charges on retained interests from certain previous small business loan securitizations. Income from securities conduit decreased $2.7 million primarily because of the higher cost of asset-backed commercial paper. Dividends and other investment income increased $3.4 million primarily due to increased income from investments accounted for on the equity method. Trading and nonhedge derivative income decreased $10.4 million primarily because of decreases in the fair value of nonhedge derivatives due to the decreasing spreads between LIBOR and prime rates. Net equity securities gains increased during the quarter primarily because of $11.1 million of net gains on venture capital investments. Net of related minority interest of $7.5 million, income taxes and other expenses, the gains from consolidated venture capital investments increased net income by approximately $1.9 million, or $0.02 per diluted common share.
Noninterest expense for the third quarter of 2007 was $352.0 million compared to $347.6 million for the second quarter of 2007 and $330.0 million for the third quarter of 2006. The efficiency ratio for the third quarter of 2007 was 56.0% compared to 56.3% for the second quarter of 2007 and 55.2% for the third quarter of 2006. Adjusted for the effect of limited liability company minority interest, the effective income tax rate was 34.6% for the third quarter of 2007 compared to 35.1% for the second quarter of 2007.
Nonperforming assets were $196.6 million at September 30, 2007 compared to $95.4 million at June 30, 2007 and $74.8 million at September 30, 2006, primarily reflecting continuing weakness in residential development and construction activity in the Southwest. The ratio of nonperforming assets to net loans and leases and other real estate owned was 0.52% at September 30, 2007 compared to 0.26% at June 30, 2007 and 0.22% at September 30, 2006.
Net loan and lease charge-offs for the third quarter of 2007 were $18.1 million or 0.19% annualized of average loans. This compares with $8.7 million or 0.10% annualized of average loans for the second quarter of 2007 and $6.5 million or 0.08% annualized of average loans for the third quarter of 2006.
The provision for loan losses was $55.4 million for the third quarter of 2007 compared to $17.8 million for the second quarter of 2007 and $14.4 million for the third quarter of 2006. The combined provisions for loan losses and unfunded lending commitments were $55.5 million for the third quarter of 2007, $19.0 million for the second quarter of 2007, and $15.4 million for the third quarter of 2006.
The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans and leases was 1.11% at September 30, 2007, 1.03% at June 30, 2007 and 1.06% at September 30, 2006. The allowance was 226.5% of nonperforming loans at September 30, 2007. The combined allowances for credit losses (allowance for loan losses plus the allowance for unfunded lending commitments) were $439.6 million or 1.16% of net loans and leases at September 30, 2007 compared to $401.5 million or 1.09% at June 30, 2007 and $375.0 million or 1.11% at September 30, 2006.
Under its stock repurchase plan, the Company repurchased 1,194,296 common shares for $90.0 million during the third quarter of 2007 at an average price of $75.37 per share. The Company has not repurchased any shares since August 16, 2007. At September 30, 2007, approximately $56.3 million remained under the current $400 million repurchase authorization. For the first nine months of 2007, the Company repurchased approximately 3.9 million common shares. Approximately 2.6 million shares were issued in January 2007 for the Stockmen’s acquisition.
The Company’s tangible equity ratio was 6.40% at September 30, 2007 compared to 6.52% at June 30, 2007 and 5.92% at September 30, 2006. The decrease from the previous quarter is primarily due to loan growth, share repurchases, and reduced earnings partially offset by reductions in accumulated other comprehensive loss. Weighted average common and common-equivalent shares outstanding for the third quarter of 2007 were 107,879,963 compared to 109,123,735 for the second quarter of 2007 and 108,061,423 for the third quarter of 2006. Common shares outstanding at September 30, 2007 were 106,934,360 compared to 108,034,079 at June 30, 2007 and 106,804,606 at September 30, 2006. The decrease for the quarter was mainly due to share repurchases.
As previously announced, effective September 6, 2007, the Company’s Amegy Bank of Texas subsidiary completed its acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Shares Corporation, located in San Antonio, Texas. Approximately $58 million in loans and $105 million in deposits, including $98 million in core deposits, were added to the Company’s balance sheet.
During the third quarter of 2007, the Company successfully completed the systems conversion of its California Bank & Trust subsidiary.
Zions will host a conference call to discuss these third quarter results at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon (October 18, 2007). Media representatives, analysts and the public are invited to listen to this discussion by calling 1-800-510-9836 (international: 617-614-3670) and entering the passcode 62946441, 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, October 18, through midnight ET on Thursday, October 25, by dialing 1-888-286-8010 (international: 617-801-6888) and entering the passcode 30695070. 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.