http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/31667095-peoples-united-financial-inc-pbct-q3-2011.aspx

People's United Financial, Inc. PBCT
Q3 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 10/20/2011

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the People's United Financial Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. My name is Jeremy, and I will be your coordinator for today.

At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the presentation over to Mr. Peter Goulding, first Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations for People's United Financial. Please proceed, Sir.

Peter Goulding - Strategic Planning and IR: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today. Jack Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer; Kirk Walters, our Chief Financial Officer along with Jeff Hoyt, our Controller are here with me to review our third quarter results.

Before we get started, please remember to refer to our forward-looking statements on Slide 1 of our presentation, which is posted on our website, www.peoples.com under the Investor Relations section.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Jack.

John P. Barnes - President and CEO: Thank you, Peter. Good afternoon, everyone. On Slide 2, we provide an overview of our third quarter results. For the quarter, operating earnings were $67.3 million or $0.19 per share, with net income of $52.9 million or $0.15 per share. Once again, our objectives have been and continue to be straightforward and twofold, one to optimize the existing business, and two, efficiently deploy capital. The third quarter represents significant progress against these goals.

To the first objective, we have a simple strategy, which is to focus on organic loan and deposit growth while expanding our fee businesses and reducing noninterest expense. This quarter, loans grew at a 15% linked-quarter annualized rate and deposits grew at a 6% annualized rate in a seasonally lowest period.

While deposit rates declined by 2 basis points to 56 basis points in the quarter, our efficiency ratio improved to 63.1% in the quarter. Another way we're optimizing the businesses is by fine tuning our balance sheet. During the quarter, we sold $507 million of mortgage-backed securities. This was done to reduce book value at risk resulting from higher prepayments speeds.

Separately, we repaid FHLB advances acquired through the acquisitions of River Bank and Danversbank totaling $284 million in order to reduce our wholesale borrowings, which now only represents 1.7% of our total funding. In environments like this, we know that asset quality is critically important differentiator for us. Our asset quality has remained at industry-leading levels throughout this crisis.

This quarter, our nonperforming assets as a percentage of originated loans, REO, and repossessed assets decreased to 1.88% of loans and REO, compared to 2.05% in the second quarter of 2011.

Now, on to the second objective, capital deployment. During the quarter, we repurchased 15.8 million shares of our common stock at a weighted average price $11.81. While we were disappointed to see our stock trade at the levels it did in the third quarter, it presented us a significant opportunity to repurchase shares. It's worth noting, we issued 18.5 million shares as part of the Danvers transaction at a price of $13.44, and since the Danvers transaction was announced in January, we've repurchased 20.4 million shares at a weighted average price of $12.10, which offset the dilution from issuing stock in the transaction and effectively converted it to a cash transaction.

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