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Southside Bancshares, inc (SBSI) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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Southside Bancshares, inc (NASDAQ: SBSI)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Oct 26, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. And welcome to the Southside Bancshares Incorporated Third Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] After the speaker presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Ms. Lindsey Bailes. Thank you, please go ahead.

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Lindsey Bailes -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Thank you, Jess. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Southside Bancshares third quarter 2021 earnings call. A transcript of today's call will be posted on southside.com under Investor Relations.

During today's call and in other disclosures and presentations, I will remind you that any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could materially change our current forward-looking assumptions are described in our earnings release and our Form 10-K.

Joining me today are Lee Gibson, President and CEO; and Julie Shamburger, CFO. First, Lee will share his comments on the quarter, then Julie will give an overview of our financial results.

I will now turn the call over to Lee.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning and welcome to Southside Bancshares' third quarter earnings call for 2021. This morning we reported outstanding quarterly results. I want to thank the entire Southside team for their tremendous contributions and efforts without which these results would not have been possible. Highlights for the quarter included, earnings per share of $0.90, an ROA of 1.61%, annualized linked quarter loan growth, net of PPP of 7.9%, annualized linked quarter -- deposit growth of 13.5%, an increase in the net interest margin to 3.16% and continued strong asset quality with non-performing assets decreasing to 0.17% of total assets.

The third quarter results also included a reversal of provision for credit losses of $5.1 million. Linked quarter, our net interest margin increased 10 basis points and our net interest spread increased 11 basis points, primarily due to a 10 basis point increase in the yield on earning assets. The average yield on loans increased 15 basis points, largely due to the increase in PPP loan accretion. The average yield on securities increased 5 basis points and our cost of funds decreased 1 basis point.

On September 30th, 2021, we redeemed our 5.5% coupon, $100 million subordinated notes, which will further positively impact the net interest margin in the fourth quarter. During the quarter, we expensed $1.1 million in connection with this redemption. Annualized loan growth as of September 30th, 2021 was 5.3%, our loan pipeline in all of our markets is strong. We anticipate this will continue well into 2022, given the strong outlook for the high growth markets we serve.

Fourth quarter payoffs are anticipated to generate headwinds as the anticipation of potential tax law changes has accelerated sales of customer projects. We now believe loan growth for 2021, net of PPP loans will be closer to 5%. We are currently budgeting for and projecting 2022 loan growth, net of PPP loans of 9%.

During the third quarter, we continued to experience an increase in our average non-maturity deposits, which represent our lowest cost interest bearing liabilities. Over the past 18-months non-maturity deposits have increased significantly, which has allowed us to strategically transform our funding base by lowering our dependence on higher cost and shorter duration CDs and swap FHLB borrowings. We had swapped FHLB borrowings at September 30th of $605 million. The economic conditions in our markets remained strong, bolstered by continued company relocations and existing company expansions combined with population growth. The DFW market and Austin markets that we serve, continue to be among the highest growth markets in the country.

I look forward to answering your questions following Julie's remarks. And I will now turn the call over to Julie.

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Lee. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our call today. The reported net income of $29.3 million, the linked quarter increase of $8 million or 37.5%, due primarily to the reversal of provision of $5.1 million and a net gain on sale of AFS securities of $1.4 million. Net income increased $2.2 million or 8.2%, compared to the same period in 2020.

For the quarter ended September 30th, 2021, our diluted earnings per share were $0.90, an increase of $0.08 or 9.8%, compared to the same period in 2020 and an increase of $0.25 or 38.5% on a linked quarter basis. Linked quarter net of the decrease in PPP loans of $64.6 million, our loan portfolio increased $69.9 million to $3.65 billion.

Our commercial real estate loans increased $174.2 million, partially offset by a decrease in construction loans of $106.1 million. The decrease in the construction loans is primarily the result of payoffs in completed projects converting to permanent financing. Commercial loans excluding the PPP forgiveness increased approximately $10.8 million during the third quarter. We also experienced an increase in municipal loans of $9.9 million on a linked quarter basis.

The average rate of new loans added during the third quarter was 3.6%. As of September 30th, our PPP loans included in the commercial loan category totaled $67.5 million, down from $132.1 million at June 30th, 2021. The average balance of our PPP loans for the three months ended September 30th, 2021 was approximately $103.9 million. Our asset quality remains strong, non-performing assets decreased by $2.8 million or 18.6%, down to 0.17% of total assets, compared to 0.21% at June 30th, 2021.

Linked quarter, our allowance for loan loss decreased $4.9 million or 11.4% to $38 million at September 30th, due to recording a reversal of provision for credit losses on loans of $4.4 million in the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of $5.9 million, compared to the second quarter provision. The decrease in the provision for the third quarter was primarily due to an improvement in the Moody's economic forecast at September 30th, 2021.

As of September 30th, our allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans was 1.04% and 1.06% when excluding PPP loans. Our allowance for off balance sheet credit exposures at September 30th decreased to $30.1 million, when compared to $3.8 million at June 30th, 2021, due to a reversal of provision of $683,000, compared to provision expense of $157,000 in the previous quarter. Combined with a reversal of provision for credit losses on loans, the reversal of provision for credit losses totaled $5.1 million for the three months ended September 30th, 2021.

As of September 30th, our loans with oil and gas industry exposure decreased to $17.7 million or 1.9% of total loans, compared with $94.3 million at the prior quarter-end, driven by pay downs on several oil and gas loans during the quarter. We currently have no remaining COVID-19-related deferrals.

Our securities portfolio decreased $15.3 million or 0.5% on a linked quarter basis. We recognized $1.4 million in security gains on the sale of AFS securities during the quarter, an increase from the net gains of $15,000 reported last quarter. As of September 30th, 2021, we had a net unrealized gain in the securities portfolio of $106.7 million, and the duration of the portfolio increased to 5.8 years from 5.4 years at the end of the second quarter. Our mix of loans and securities at September 30th, remain consistent on a linked quarter basis at 56% loans and 44% securities.

During the quarter ended September 30th, we repurchased the remaining authorized shares under our stock repurchase plan. A total of 420,204 shares purchased at an average price of $36.74. Our net interest margin increased 10 basis points on a linked quarter basis to 3.16% and net interest spread increased by 11 basis points, a result of the increase in yield on interest-earning assets and fees on PPP loans forgiven, approximately 18 basis points of the net interest margin related to fees earned on the PPP loans.

For the three months ended September 30th, net interest income increased $2.6 million or 5.6%, when compared to the linked quarter. We recorded approximately $3.1 million in net fees related to the PPP loans, included in interest income this quarter, compared to $1.7 million at June 30th.

As of September 30th, 2021, we had net deferred fees of approximately $2.3 million remaining to be recognized as a yield adjustment over the terms of the loans. Additionally, we recorded $196,000 in purchase loan accretion this quarter, a decrease of $453,000 from the prior quarter.

For the three months ended September 30th 2021, non-interest income, excluding net gains on the sale of AFS securities increased $470,000 or 4.3% for the linked quarter, which was primarily driven by an increase in deposit services income and other non-interest income. An increase in overdraft charges was the driver of the increase in deposit services income and other non-interest income increased primarily due to an increase in mortgage servicing fee income.

On September 30th, we redeemed our 5.5% subordinated notes, resulting in a $1.1 million loss on redemption reported in non-interest expense. Excluding the loss on the redemption, non-interest expense remained consistent on a linked quarter basis. For the fourth quarter of 2021, we expect non-interest expense to be approximately $31 million.

Our fully taxable equivalent efficiency ratio decreased to 47.92%, compared to 50.31% in the previous quarter. The decrease in the fully taxable equivalent efficiency ratio was due to the increase in net interest income for the quarter. Income tax expense increased $2.1 million or 72.4%, compared to the three months ended June 30th, 2021, driven by the increase in pre-tax income.

Our effective tax rate increased to 14.5% for the third quarter, up from 11.9% last quarter, primarily due to a decrease in tax-exempt income as a percentage of pre-tax income. At this time we are estimating an increase in our annualized effective tax rate of 13.2%.

Thank you for joining us today. This concludes our comments and we will open the line for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Brad Gailey from KBW. Your line is open.

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

Yes, it's Brady. Good morning, guys.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Brady.

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

So I wanted to start with loan growth, I mean, 9% ex-PPP loan growth next year is a fairly healthy level. Maybe just a comment relative to this year, do you expect it to be more production that's driving that higher rate or is it a lesser amount of payoffs? And then just within your geographies where are you seeing the best growth?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think it's, you know, it's going to be a combination of both of those. But more additional production next year, some of the people we hired this year, we only had for about 70% of the year that are producing well. And most of the production, the big dollar production is probably going to come in the metropolitan areas is what we're anticipating. The DFW, the Austin and the Houston markets, and that's where we're seeing the largest dollar amount. Now the largest number of loans are being made in East Texas markets. But in terms of the dollars, it's going to be the metropolitan areas.

And as far as the payoffs go, you know, a lot of people are concerned about tax changes this year and so that generated some additional payoffs in the third quarter. But we're seeing that accelerate even more in the fourth quarter.

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

All right. And the next on the buyback. If I look at the first three quarters of the year, you've repurchased about 3% of the company, so a fairly healthy level. But you don't have anything authorized beyond that. Should we think about the buyback continuing from here or does that pause?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think at some point we'll discuss with the Board on additional authorization to have available if not this quarter, early next quarter. But I would anticipate, we're going to have additional authorization so that we have availability.

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

All right. And then last for me, and you guys have done a good job of holding expenses flat around this $31 million level, it sounds like it's going to be the same to close out the year next quarter. As you look toward 2022, what sort of expense creep should we expect?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We haven't completed the budget for 2022. I know we're going to have some additional technology spend in all likelihood, there'll be some increased compensation spend, exactly what that's going to amount to, I don't know from a percentage standpoint, Brady. But, I would anticipate somewhere in the neighborhood of maybe $1 million, $1.5 million a quarter. I'm looking at Julie, to you see...

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

[Technical Issues] two things that came to my mind were compensation and technology. Because we're looking at a few things right now. So, but I think -- I mean, I would like to see it around $1 million, $1.5 million at the most.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I don't have a better idea of that obviously with the January call, unfortunately. But if I -- based on what we're seeing now and what we're projecting that would be my initial stand at it.

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you, guys.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

All right.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Michael Young from Truist Securities. Your line is open.

Michael Young -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Hey, thanks for taking the question. Just wanted to ask, kind of, a follow-up on the loan growth, obviously 9% for 2022 is very healthy, very good, sounds like some larger loans may be, kind of, driving that. But just generally, I think, when we've been surprised at times it's been related to payoffs or pay downs. Do you have better visibility into payoffs and pay downs out of 2022 than you have in prior years? Or anything like that would just kind of help us with the confidence around that 9% number.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Our best visibility is for the fourth quarter, but we know when construction projects are slated to be finished. And that's typically not too long after that some of those that begin to lease-up depending on how fast they lease-up, that's when they become the most vulnerable for payoffs. And we know what's coming out, but we also have a good idea of what our pipeline, how strong it is right now and we anticipate that's going to continue on into 2022, because things are just continuing to explode in a lot of the markets that we're in.

And company relocations, the company's expanding existing relationships that they have in the state, and then overall there is population growth, there is -- they can't build the houses fast enough, multifamily is needed in a lot of these areas, warehouse space, there's just all sorts of needs as we see the in-migration from the other states.

Michael Young -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thanks, that's helpful. And then just on maybe the securities book with that strong loan growth outlook do you expect to, kind of, hold the size of the securities book relative to the loan book? Or do you expect to, kind of, continue to push some excess liquidity into that? Just any outlook there for, kind of, balance sheet size as we move through next year?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Our plan is not necessarily to expand the securities portfolio. The hope would be that the loan growth would be such that we'll be able to at a bare minimum hold it where it is and maybe actually see it decrease a little bit. Some of that's going to depend on continued deposit growth, if we continue to see deposits grow with the right we've seen this year, then it's possible that the securities book would hold steady and might even be up just a little bit as we deploy some of that excess liquidity.

Michael Young -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And then maybe just lastly just on asset sensitivity. Could you just remind us how much of the loan book now is variable versus fixed and any kind of early thoughts around impact of maybe a quarter point hike or more?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, there's a loan portfolio is right at 50-50, it varies from 49-51 to 50-50, but it stayed in that range all year. And that's essentially what we see moving forward. On our fixed-rate loans, we typically don't fix them other than on the one-to-four family home loans, we typically don't fix them past five years. So even those probably have an average duration of 2.5 to three years, somewhere in that range. So with the quarter point up, I would anticipate we'll get to enjoy almost all of that in the loan book. And then since we've been able to transform the liability side into significant amount of non-maturity deposits, I would anticipate that we're not going to see, but maybe 10% to 20% of that 25 basis points, migrate up on the deposit side. So it will be very small.

Michael Young -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. Appreciate it.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brad Milsaps from Piper Sandler. Your line is open.

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys.

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Brad.

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Lee, you guys have addressed most of my questions. I did want to ask around loan yields. It looks like there may be only down 2 or 3 basis points, excluding accretion and the impact of PPP. I think earlier in the year you talked about new loans coming on, kind of, 315 if my memory serves now, it sounds like it's closer to 360. Is that obviously driven by mix or you just getting better pricing out there more fees? Just kind of curious, if you could help me kind of understand the kind of the key drivers there around kind of new yields on new originations.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. In the first quarter, the average was in that lower 3 range. I think in the second quarter, it was closer to 350. And then you hit it right on the nose, it's 360 for the new loans that went on the books in the third quarter. So it's a combination of some better pricing and folks are concerned about rates moving up, and we're just able to get a little better pricing.

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay, that's great. And then just as you think about your provisioning reserving last quarter you took a provision this quarter you reverse that out and end [Phonetic] some. Do you think you're kind of mostly through that at this point, and you would start provisioning again to support some of the loan growth you've got coming down the pike, all else equal?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think that's a correct statement. We look at the CECL reserve obviously every quarter and kind of saw an upper and a lower band and we were right at the top of the upper band where they reserve versus this time. But there is -- it's -- that has -- that band has narrowed dramatically and it's down to a fairly small number at this point in time. So absent a mix in the loan portfolio, I would anticipate that further loan growth is going to come at the cost of some additional reserves, which is fine. I mean, that's what you ultimately want.

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Sure. No, that's helpful, Lee. And then final question. I know you guys typically pay out a special dividend in the fourth quarter where your payout ratio is typically at least -- since I've covered you guys, kind of, been in the mid-50% you guys are tracking to record earnings this year. I know a part of that's because of the reserve release. But even then, if you guys are going to get back to that mid-50% payout would imply a special dividend, a pretty large one.

Just kind of curious how -- I know it's a Board decision. But should we think about that type of payout or because it is coming from the reserve maybe you scale back that a little bit. Just kind of curious how to think about that based on your history?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We haven't made any decisions. But to think about a payout in the mid-50% is probably a little aggressive. But that's something we're certainly going to be taking up with the Board here early next month, and I guess more to come on that. And I'm sorry I didn't provide you a lot of. But I don't see it being in the mid-50% this year, simply because a lot of it has been that reversal of provision expense.

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Yes. No, makes total sense. I really appreciate the color. Thanks, Lee.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brett Rabatin from Hovde Group. Your line is open.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, everyone.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Brett. How are you doing?

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

I'm great, thanks. Wanted to -- I guess first I missed, I heard that there was $2.3 million remaining on the PPP fees, Julie. But I didn't catch what was the amount recognized in the third quarter? If you just add that handy?

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, the fees recognized during the third quarter were $3.1 million, compared to $1.7 million second quarter.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Okay. And then you talked about the margin and the potential for upside when rates go higher. As you think about the remaining opportunities to improve the funding mix versus the loan yields and new originations in the securities book. Does the margin creep from here a little bit lower, unless you have a mix shift change in the earning asset base? Or maybe give a little bit of a stronger outlook on the margin and how you see that playing out until rates move higher?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, in the fourth quarter, I think the fact that we took a $100 million at 5.5% of the funding side is going to have a real positive impact in the fourth quarter, if they do start raising short-term rates, I think it will be positive. And the reason I say that is if you look at our average home loan bank borrowings approximately 90% of them are fixed with swaps at this point in time.

And then, we have reduced CD funding dramatically over the course of the last year and a half, and it's mostly in non-maturity deposits right now. So I would anticipate that if they do start raising the short-term interest rates, that's going to have a positive impact on our overall net interest margin. And even if they don't, I still think it's going to improve in the fourth quarter and then if worst case would hold flat next year.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Okay. Appreciate the color there, Lee. And then just thinking about if I heard it right, you're expecting 5% core growth for the year ex-PPP. So the fourth quarter, if I got the numbers right here, means a little bit of state of the atrophy relative to 3Q, is that right? And then just back on the 9% expectations for '22, is a lot of that construction in C&I? And is that pipeline building? Just wanted to get maybe a little more color on the things that are growing in terms of the pipeline.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Right. Some of it is construction because there was a period of time in 2020 where we weren't putting on a lot of construction loans for about a four to six month periods simply, because people put their projects on hold until they figured out what's going to happen with the pandemic. And then correspondingly, if you make a construction loan, the equity goes in upfront, and so we're just now seeing in the last quarter or so fund that on a lot of those funds that were made in '20 and we're anticipating that the loans we've made in '21 will start funding up in '22, that combined with -- there is a lot of whole funders that we're taking a look at on the CRE side some on the commercial side.

And then on municipal lending, we think this is going to be -- continue to be have a nice increase the -- a number of the larger banks are not allowed or not going to be able to make a municipal loan instead Texas [Phonetic] originate them because of their position on loans, related to what the state legislature do in their legislative session this time. So there's just a number of factors that come in, that we believe we're going to bode well for us in terms of loan growth next year.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Okay. And then I guess it was a two part question. But the first part was just around the fourth quarter and the stated balances decline a little bit linked quarter?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I'm sorry. And then what declines?

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Just with the 5% core guidance. Just want to make sure I have it correct at that kind of...

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I mean basically we're right at 4% for the year. If we didn't have any more loan growth, I think we're at 4% through three quarters, the 5.3% is annualized. So we are anticipating a little bit of loan growth in the fourth quarter. But not anything like what we experienced in the third quarter, simply because of the headwinds with the payoffs.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Okay, appreciate that. And then maybe lastly, Lee, I was -- I'm curious it seems like I've had some diverging conversations around M&A and the possibility of doing transactions here in the near-term. And I think you've been more optimistic at one point about potential deal making. What's your current view on M&A? And do you expect to be active and how big of a priority is that for you at this point?

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We expect to be active. It goes back to banks are sold, they are not bought and you got to have willing sellers. And at this point, we're just not seeing a lot of willing sellers that we would have interest in. And then some of them that we've talked to that maybe it's not something that it is going to be actionable here in the near future.

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

Okay. That's great color. Appreciate it.

Operator

There are no more questions at this time. Turning the call back to Mr. Lee Gibson for closing remarks.

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for joining us today. We appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions and your interest in Southside Bancshares. In closing, given the positive economic conditions in our markets, our strong pipeline, capital position, core earnings and asset quality, we look forward to reporting fourth quarter and annual results to you during our next earnings call in January. This concludes the call.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 35 minutes

Call participants:

Lindsey Bailes -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Lee R. Gibson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Julie N. Shamburger -- Chief Financial Officer

Brad Gailey -- KBW -- Analyst

Michael Young -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Brad Milsaps -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Brett Rabatin -- Hovde Group -- Analyst

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