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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2012
Commission File Number: 001-13901
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
310 FIRST STREET, S.E., MOULTRIE, GA 31768
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrants telephone number)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act. (Check one):
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x
There were 23,814,144 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of April 30, 2012.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Dollars in Thousands)
See notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
See notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
See notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Dollars in Thousands)
See notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
MARCH 31, 2012
NOTE 1 BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Ameris Bancorp (the Company or Ameris) is a financial holding company headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia. Ameris conducts substantially all of its operations through its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank (the Bank). At March 31, 2012 the Bank operated 67 branches in select markets in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. Our business model capitalizes on the efficiencies of a large financial services company while still providing the community with the personalized banking service expected by our customers. We manage our Bank through a balance of decentralized management responsibilities and efficient centralized operating systems, products and loan underwriting standards. Ameris Board of Directors and senior managers establish corporate policy, strategy and administrative policies. Within Ameris established guidelines and policies, the banker closest to the customer responds to the differing needs and demands of his or her unique market.
The accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements for Ameris have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America for interim financial information and Regulation S-X. Accordingly, the financial statements do not include all of the information and footnotes required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America for complete financial statement presentation. The interim consolidated financial statements included herein are unaudited, but reflect all adjustments which, in the opinion of management, are necessary for a fair presentation of the consolidated financial position and results of operations for the interim periods presented. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The results of operations for the period ended March 31, 2012 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto and the report of our registered independent public accounting firm included in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.
Newly Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
ASU 2011-04 - Amendments to Achieve Common Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure Requirements in U.S. GAAP and IFRSs (ASU 2011-04). ASU 2011-04 generally represents clarifications of Topic 820, but also includes some instances where a particular principle or requirement for measuring fair value or disclosing information about fair value measurements has changed. ASU 2011-04 results in common principles and requirements for measuring fair value and for disclosing information about fair value measurements. ASU 2011-04 is to be applied prospectively and is effective during interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2011 for public companies. It did not have a material impact on the Companys results of operations, financial position or disclosures.
ASU 2011-05 - Amendments to Topic 220, Comprehensive Income (ASU 2011-05). ASU 2011-05 grants an entity the option to present the total of comprehensive income, the components of net income, and the components of other comprehensive income either in a single continuous statement of comprehensive income or in two separate but consecutive statements. In both choices, an entity is required to present each component of net income along with total net income, each component of other comprehensive income along with a total for other comprehensive income, and a total amount for comprehensive income. ASU 2011-05 eliminates the option to present the components of other comprehensive income as part of the statement of changes in stockholders equity. ASU 2011-05 does not change the items that must be reported in other comprehensive income or when an item of other comprehensive income must be reclassified to net income. For public entities, ASU 2011-05 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2011, and is to be adopted retrospectively. It did not have a material impact on the Companys results of operations, financial position or disclosures.
ASU 2011-08 Intangibles Goodwill and Other (Topic 350) Testing Goodwill for Impairment (ASU 2011-08). ASU 2011-08 grants an entity the option to assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. This conclusion can be used as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment test required in Topic 350. ASU 2011-08 is effective for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. It is not expected to have a material impact on the Companys results of operations, financial position or disclosures.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The fair value of a financial instrument is the current amount that would be exchanged between willing parties, other than in a forced liquidation. Fair value is best determined based upon quoted market prices. However, in many instances, there are no quoted market prices for the Companys various financial instruments. In cases where quoted market prices are not available, fair value is based on discounted cash flows or other valuation techniques. These techniques are significantly affected by the assumptions used, including the discount rate and estimates of future cash flows. Accordingly, the fair value estimates may not be realized in an immediate settlement of the instrument. The accounting standard for disclosures about the fair value of financial instruments excludes certain financial instruments and all nonfinancial instruments from its disclosure requirements. Accordingly, the aggregate fair value amounts presented may not necessarily represent the underlying fair value of the Company.
The fair value hierarchy describes three levels of inputs that may be used to measure fair value:
Level 1 - Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2 - Observable inputs other than Level 1 prices, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.
Level 3 - Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities.
The following methods and assumptions were used by the Company in estimating the fair value of its financial instruments and other accounts recorded based on their fair value:
Cash, Due From Banks, Interest-Bearing Deposits in Banks and Federal Funds Sold: The carrying amount of cash, due from banks and interest-bearing deposits in banks and federal funds sold approximates fair value.
Investment Securities Available for Sale: The fair value of securities available for sale is determined by various valuation methodologies. Where quoted market prices are available in an active market, securities are classified within Level 1 of the valuation hierarchy. If quoted market prices are not available, then fair values are estimated by using pricing models, quoted prices of securities with similar characteristics, or discounted cash flows. Level 2 securities include mortgage-backed securities issued by government sponsored enterprises and municipal bonds. The level 2 fair value pricing is provided by an independent third-party and is based upon similar securities in an active market. In certain cases where Level 1 or Level 2 inputs are not available, securities are classified within Level 3 of the hierarchy and include certain residual municipal securities and other less liquid securities.
Other Investments: Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) stock is included in other investment securities at its original cost basis, as cost approximates fair value and there is no ready market for such investments.
Mortgage Loans Held-for-Sale: Mortgage loans held-for-sale are carried at cost, which is a reasonable estimate of fair value.
Loans: The carrying amount of variable-rate loans that reprice frequently and have no significant change in credit risk approximates fair value. The fair value of fixed-rate loans is estimated based on discounted contractual cash flows, using interest rates currently being offered for loans with similar terms to borrowers with similar credit quality. The fair value of impaired loans is based on estimated discounted cash flows or underlying collateral values, where applicable. A loan is determined to be impaired if the Company believes it is probable that all principal and interest amounts due according to the terms of the note will not be collected as scheduled. The fair value of impaired loans is determined in accordance with accounting standards and generally results in a specific reserve established through a charge to the provision for loan losses. Losses on impaired loans are charged to the allowance when management believes the uncollectability of a loan is confirmed. Management has determined that the majority of impaired loans are Level 2 assets due to the extensive use of market appraisals. To the extent that market appraisals or other methods do not produce reliable determinations of fair value, these assets are deemed to be Level 3.
Other Real Estate Owned: The fair value of other real estate owned (OREO) is determined using certified appraisals that value the property at its highest and best uses by applying traditional valuation methods common to the industry. The Company does not hold any OREO for profit purposes and all other real estate is actively marketed for sale. In most cases, management has determined that additional write-downs are required beyond what is calculable from the appraisal to carry the property at levels that would attract buyers. Because this additional write-down is not based on observable inputs, management has determined that other real estate owned should be classified as Level 3.
Covered Assets: Covered assets include loans and other real estate owned on which the majority of losses would be covered by loss-sharing agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the FDIC). Management initially valued these assets at fair value using mostly unobservable inputs and, as such, has classified these assets as Level 3.
Intangible Assets and Goodwill: Intangible assets consist of core deposit premiums acquired in connection with business combinations and are based on the established value of acquired customer deposits. The core deposit premium is initially recognized based on a valuation performed as of the consummation date and is amortized over an estimated useful life of three to ten years. Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the net identifiable assets acquired in a business combination. Goodwill and other intangible assets deemed to have an indefinite useful life are not amortized but instead are subject to an annual review for impairment.
FDIC Indemnification Asset: Because the FDIC will reimburse the Company for certain acquired loans should the Company experience a loss, an indemnification asset is recorded at fair value at the acquisition date. The indemnification asset is recognized at the same time as the indemnified loans, and measured on the same basis, subject to collectability or contractual limitations. The shared-loss agreements on the acquisition date reflect the reimbursements expected to be received from the FDIC, using an appropriate discount rate, which reflects counterparty credit risk and other uncertainties. The shared-loss agreements continue to be measured on the same basis as the related indemnified loans, and the loss-share receivable is impacted by changes in estimated cash flows associated with these loans.
Deposits: The carrying amount of demand deposits, savings deposits and variable-rate certificates of deposit approximates fair value. The fair value of fixed-rate certificates of deposit is estimated based on discounted contractual cash flows using interest rates currently offered for certificates with similar maturities.
Securities Sold under Agreements to Repurchase and Other Borrowings: The carrying amount of variable rate borrowings and securities sold under repurchase agreements approximates fair value. The fair value of fixed rate other borrowings is estimated based on discounted contractual cash flows using the current incremental borrowing rates for similar type borrowing arrangements.
Subordinated Deferrable Interest Debentures: The carrying amount of the Companys variable rate trust preferred securities approximates fair value.
Off-Balance-Sheet Instruments: Because commitments to extend credit and standby letters of credit are typically made using variable rates and have short maturities, the carrying value and fair value are immaterial for disclosure.
Derivatives: The Company has entered into derivative financial instruments to manage interest rate risk. The valuation of these instruments is determined using widely accepted valuation techniques including discounted cash flow analysis on the expected cash flows of the derivatives. This analysis reflects the contractual terms of the derivative, including the period to maturity, and uses observable market-based inputs, including interest rate curves and implied volatilities. The fair value of the derivatives are determined using the market standard methodology of netting the discounted future fixed cash receipts and the discounted expected variable cash payments. The variable cash payments are based on an expectation of future interest rates (forward curves derived from observable market interest rate curves).
The Company incorporates credit valuation adjustments to appropriately reflect both its own nonperformance risk and the respective counterpartys nonperformance risk in the fair value measurements. In adjusting the fair value of its derivative contracts for the effect of nonperformance risk, the Company has considered the impact of netting any applicable credit enhancements such as collateral postings, thresholds, mutual puts and guarantees.
Although the Company has determined that the majority of the inputs used to value its derivative fall within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy, the credit valuation adjustments associated with its derivatives utilize Level 3 inputs, such as estimates of current credit spreads to evaluate the likelihood of default by itself or the counterparty. However, as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011, the Company has assessed the significance of the impact of the credit valuation adjustments on the overall valuation of its derivative positions and has determined that the credit valuation adjustment is not significant to the overall valuation of its derivatives. As a result, the Company has determined that its derivative valuation in its entirety is classified in Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.
The carrying amount and estimated fair value of the Companys financial instruments, not shown elsewhere in these financial instruments, were as follows:
The following table presents the fair value measurements of assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis and the level within the fair value hierarchy in which the fair value measurements fall as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011 (dollars in thousands):
The following table is a presentation of the valuation methodologies used for instruments measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis, as well as the general classification of such instruments pursuant to the valuation hierarchy as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011 (dollars in thousands):
Below is the Companys reconciliation of Level 3 assets as of March 31, 2012.
NOTE 2 INVESTMENT SECURITIES
Ameris investment policy blends the Companys liquidity needs and interest rate risk management with its desire to increase income and provide funds for expected growth in loans. The investment securities portfolio consists primarily of U.S. government sponsored mortgage-backed securities and agencies, state, county and municipal securities and corporate debt securities. Ameris portfolio and investing philosophy concentrate activities in obligations where the credit risk is limited. For the small portion of Ameris portfolio found to present credit risk, the Company has reviewed the investments and financial performance of the obligors and believes the credit risk to be acceptable.
The amortized cost and estimated fair value of investment securities available for sale at March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011 are presented below:
The amortized cost and fair value of available-for-sale securities at March 31, 2012 by contractual maturity are summarized in the table below. Expected maturities for mortgage-backed securities may differ from contractual maturities because in certain cases borrowers can prepay obligations without prepayment penalties. Therefore, these securities are not included in the following maturity summary.
Securities with a carrying value of approximately $208.1 million serve as collateral to secure public deposits and other purposes required or permitted by law at March 31, 2012.
The following table details the gross unrealized losses and fair value of securities aggregated by category and duration of continuous unrealized loss position at March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
NOTE 3 LOANS
The Company engages in a full complement of lending activities, including real estate-related loans, agriculture-related loans, commercial and financial loans and consumer installment loans within select markets in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. Ameris concentrates the majority of its lending activities in real estate loans. While risk of loss in the Companys portfolio is primarily tied to the credit quality of the various borrowers, risk of loss may increase due to factors beyond Ameris control, such as local, regional and/or national economic downturns. General conditions in the real estate market may also impact the relative risk in the real estate portfolio.
Commercial, financial and agricultural loans include both secured and unsecured loans for working capital, expansion, crop production, and other business purposes. Short-term working capital loans are secured by non-real estate collateral such as accounts receivable, crops, inventory and equipment. The Company evaluates the financial strength, cash flow, management, credit history of the borrower and the quality of the collateral securing the loan. The Bank often requires personal guarantees and secondary sources of repayment on commercial, financial and agricultural loans.
Real estate loans include construction and development loans, commercial and farmland loans and residential loans. Construction and development loans include loans for the development of residential neighborhoods, construction of one-to-four family residential construction loans to builders and consumers, and commercial real estate construction loans, primarily for owner-occupied properties. The Company limits its construction lending risk through adherence to established underwriting procedures. Commercial real estate loans include loans secured by owner-occupied commercial buildings for office, storage, retail, farmland and warehouse space. They also include non-owner occupied commercial buildings such as leased retail and office space. Commercial real estate loans may be larger in size and may involve a greater degree of risk than one-to-four family residential mortgage loans. Payments on such loans are often dependent on successful operation or management of the properties. The Companys residential loans represent permanent mortgage financing and are secured by residential properties located within the Banks market areas.
Consumer installment loans and other loans include automobile loans, boat and recreational vehicle financing, and both secured and unsecured personal loans. Consumer loans carry greater risks than other loans, as the collateral can consist of rapidly depreciating assets such as automobiles and equipment that may not provide an adequate source of repayment of the loan in the case of default.
Loans are stated at unpaid balances, net of unearned income and deferred loan fees. Balances within the major loans receivable categories are presented in the following table:
Covered loans are defined as loans that were acquired in FDIC-assisted transactions that are covered by a loss-sharing agreement with the FDIC. Covered loans totaling $653.4 million, $571.5 million and $526.0 million at March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011, respectively, are not included in the above schedule.
Covered loans are shown below according to loan type as of the end of the periods shown:
Nonaccrual and Past Due Loans
A loan is placed on nonaccrual status when, in managements judgment, the collection of the interest income appears doubtful. Interest receivable that has been accrued and is subsequently determined to have doubtful collectability is charged to interest income. Interest on loans that are classified as non-accrual is recognized when received. Past due loans are loans whose principal or interest is past due 90 days or more. In some cases, where borrowers are experiencing financial difficulties, loans may be restructured to provide terms significantly different from the original contractual terms.
The following table presents an analysis of non-covered loans accounted for on a nonaccrual basis.
The following table presents an analysis of covered loans accounted for on a nonaccrual basis:
The following table presents an analysis of non-covered past due loans as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
The following table presents an analysis of covered past due loans as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
Loans are considered impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable the Company will be unable to collect all amounts due in accordance with the original contractual terms of the loan agreements. When determining if the Company will be unable to collect all principal and interest payments due in accordance with the contractual terms of the loan agreement, the Company considers the borrowers capacity to pay, which includes such factors as the borrowers current financial statements, an analysis of global cash flow sufficient to pay all debt obligations and an evaluation of secondary sources of repayment, such as guarantor support and collateral value. Impaired loans include loans on nonaccrual status and troubled debt restructurings. The Company individually assesses for impairment all nonaccrual loans greater than $200,000 and rated substandard or worse and all troubled debt restructurings greater than $100,000. If a loan is deemed impaired, a specific valuation allowance is allocated, if necessary, so that the loan is reported net, at the present value of estimated future cash flows using the loans existing rate or at the fair value of collateral if repayment is expected solely from the collateral. Interest payments on impaired loans are typically applied to principal unless collectability of the principal amount is reasonably assured, in which case interest is recognized on a cash basis.
The following is a summary of information pertaining to non-covered impaired loans:
The following table presents an analysis of information pertaining to non-covered impaired loans as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
The following is a summary of information pertaining to covered impaired loans:
The following table presents an analysis of information pertaining to impaired covered loans as of March 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
Credit Quality Indicators
The Company uses a nine category risk grading system to assign a risk grade to each loan in the portfolio. Following is a description of the general characteristics of the grades:
Grade 10 Prime Credit This grade represents loans to the Companys most creditworthy borrowers or loans that are secured by cash or cash equivalents.
Grade 15 Good Credit This grade includes loans that exhibit one or more characteristics better than that of a Satisfactory Credit. Generally, debt service coverage and borrowers liquidity is materially better than required by the Companys loan policy.
Grade 20 Satisfactory Credit This grade is assigned to loans to borrowers who exhibit satisfactory credit histories, contain acceptable loan structures and demonstrate ability to repay.
Grade 23 Performing, Under-Collateralized Credit This grade is assigned to loans that are currently performing and supported by adequate financial information that reflects repayment capacity but exhibits a loan-to-value ratio greater than 110%, based on a documented collateral valuation.
Grade 25 Minimum Acceptable Credit This grade includes loans which exhibit all the characteristics of a Satisfactory Credit, but warrant more than normal level of banker supervision due to (i) circumstances which elevate the risks of performance (such as start-up operations, untested management, heavy leverage, interim losses); (ii)adverse, extraordinary events that have affected, or could affect, the borrowers cash flow, financial condition, ability to continue operating profitability or refinancing (such as death of principal, fire, divorce); (iii) loans that require more than the normal servicing requirements (such as any type of construction financing, acquisition and development loans, accounts receivable or inventory loans and floor plan loans); (iv) existing technical exceptions which raise some doubts about the Banks perfection in its collateral position or the continued financial capacity of the borrower; or (v) improvements in formerly criticized borrowers, which may warrant banker supervision.
Grade 30 Other Asset Especially Mentioned This grade includes loans that exhibit potential weaknesses that deserve managements close attention. If left uncorrected, these weaknesses may result in deterioration of the repayment prospects for the asset or in the Companys credit position at some future date.
Grade 40 Substandard This grade represents loans which are inadequately protected by the current sound worth and paying capacity of the borrower or of the collateral pledged, if any. These assets exhibit a well-defined weakness or are characterized by the distinct possibility that the Bank will sustain some loss if the deficiencies are not corrected. These weaknesses may be characterized by past due performance, operating losses or questionable collateral values.
Grade 50 Doubtful This grade includes loans which exhibit all of the characteristics of a substandard loan with the added provision that the weaknesses make collection or liquidation in full, on the basis of currently existing facts, conditions and values, highly questionable or improbable.
Grade 60 Loss This grade is assigned to loans which are considered uncollectible and of such little value that their continuance as active assets of the Bank is not warranted. This classification does not mean that the loss has absolutely no recovery or salvage value, but rather it is not practical or desirable to defer writing it off.
The following table presents the non-covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of March 31, 2012.
The following table presents the non-covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of December 31, 2011.
The following table presents the non-covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of March 31, 2011.
The following table presents the covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of March 31, 2012.
The following table presents the covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of December 31, 2011.
The following table presents the covered loan portfolio by risk grade as of March 31, 2011.