SUSQ

Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. (SUSQ)

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Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. (SUSQ)

Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call

January 24, 2013 11:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Carl Lundblad – SVP & Director of Strategic Planning & IR

Bill Reuter – Chairman & CEO

Drew Hostetter – EVP & CFO

Mike Quick – EVP and CCO

Analysts

Bob Ramsey – FBR

Casey Haire – Jefferies

Chris McGratty – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Matthew Schultheis – Boenning & Scattergood

Preeti Dixit – JPMorgan

Matthew Clark – Credit Suisse

Collyn Gilbert – Stifel Nicolaus

Russell Gunther – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mac Hodgson – SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

John Moran – Macquarie Capital

Frank Schiraldi – Sandler O’Neill

Matthew Kelly – Sterne Agee

Blair Brantley – BB&T Capital Markets

Daniel Martian – Raymond James

Presentation

Operator

Please stand by. Good morning and welcome to the Susquehanna Bancshares’ Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we’ll conduct an electronic question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions)

Thank you. Mr. Lundblad, you may begin.

Carl Lundblad

Thank you, Beth. Good morning, and welcome everyone. I’m Carl Lundblad and I serve as Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Planning and Investor Relations at Susquehanna Bancshares.

Our press release containing financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2012 was made available yesterday after the market close. You can find this and our other financial releases in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.susquehanna.net.

Certain statements made during this conference call may be considered to be forward-looking statements. In particular, certain statements made on this call may include forward-looking statements relating to our strategic objectives and financial targets for 2013. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties.

Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations are detailed in the press release and our SEC filings. We encourage you to refer to such filings including a Form 8-K filed yesterday containing our earnings release and our most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q for a complete discussion of forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We do not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

I’m now pleased to introduce the host for our call, Bill Reuter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Bill Reuter

Thank you, Carl. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us. Also participating in this morning’s call will be Drew Hostetter, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Mike Quick, Executive Vice President and our Chief Credit Officer.

The results we announced yesterday illustrate the success we achieved with respect to each other strategic objectives we outlined for 2012. We continued to drive improvements in credit quality, successfully completed the integration of Tower bank order, generated solid organic loan and core deposit growth as well as overall revenue growth and significantly improved profitability and shareholder dividends.

For the fourth quarter, we earned net income of $43 million or $0.23 per share compared to $19 million or $0.12 per share during the same period 2011. For the fourth quarter 2012, this represents a very strong return on tangible equity of 14%. Net income for 2012 was $141 million or $0.77 per share compared to $55 million or $0.40 per share in 2011, an increased EPS of 93%.

During this morning’s call, I’d like review the achievements of each of our strategic objectives for 2012. And then Drew will focus on highlights of our fourth quarter financial results and 2013 targets. I’ll conclude our prepared remarks by outlining our strategic objectives for 2013.

I’ll begin with the review of our progress on credit quality. The stead improvement we saw throughout the year is a testament to the work of our credit and lending teams. Non-accruing loans were $98 million at year-end, down from $156 million in the fourth quarter 2011. At year-end 2012, the ratio of non-performing assets as percent of loans, leases and foreclosed real estates was 96 basis points compared to 188 basis points a year earlier.

Net charge-offs as a percent of average loans and leases was 55 basis points for 2012 compared to 116 basis points for 2011. We continued to maintain a strong reserve with our allowance of $184 million at year-end 2012 representing 1.43% of total loans and leases and 180% of non-accruals. Our teams will continue their focus on credit quality as we work to accelerate growth in our loan portfolio in 2013 and going forward.

The second of our major objectives for 2012 was the integration of Tower Bancorp. However, to truly put this into perspective, it’s important to consider that the Tower merger in February 2012 followed quickly after our acquisition of Abington Bancorp in October 2011. With these two integrations, we converted more than 200,000 accounts including $2.6 billion in loans and $2.9 billion in deposits as well as $443 million in assets under management associated with wealth management operation.

We combined Tower and Abington 69 offices with our own branch network consolidating branches in close proximity for improved efficiency. Result is a network of more than 260 Susquehanna bank offices in Mid-Atlantic region. We strengthened our core market in Central Pennsylvania and also added critical mass in the Philadelphia metro market where we now operate more than 60 branches with over $3 billion in deposits. These acquisitions roughly doubled our presence, our company’s presence in the greater Philadelphia region.

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