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First Citizens Reports Earnings for Fourth Quarter 2015

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens BancShares Inc. (BancShares) (Nasdaq:FCNCA) reports earnings for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, of $42.7 million, compared to $56.0 million for the third quarter of 2015, and $62.9 million for the corresponding period of 2014, according to Frank B. Holding, Jr., chairman of the board.

Per share income was $3.56 for the fourth quarter of 2015, $4.66 for the third quarter of 2015 and $5.24 for the same period a year ago. BancShares' current quarter results generated an annualized return on average assets of 0.53 percent and an annualized return on average equity of 5.92 percent, compared to respective returns of 0.71 percent and 7.86 percent for the third quarter of 2015 and 0.82 percent and 9.20 percent for the same period of 2014.

For the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, net income was $210.4 million, or $17.52 per share, and $138.6 million, or $13.56 per share, respectively. Returns on average assets and average equity were 0.68 percent and 7.52 percent during 2015, compared to 0.57 percent and 6.14 percent during 2014. When comparing net income for the year ended December 31, 2015, to the prior year, the increases were primarily driven by the impacts of the October 1, 2014, First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. (Bancorporation) merger and the $42.9 million gain on the FDIC-assisted acquisition of Capitol City Bank & Trust (CCBT) of Atlanta, Ga., which occurred February 13, 2015. The impacts of the acquisitions are reflected in Bancshares’ financial results from the respective acquisition dates.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Loan growth was strong in 2015 as net balances increased by $384.2 million during the fourth quarter and $1.47 billion for the year primarily as a result of originated portfolio growth.
  • Deposit growth continued, up $211.4 million and $1.25 billion from September 30, 2015, and December 31, 2014, respectively, primarily due to organic growth in low-cost demand accounts.
  • The taxable-equivalent net interest margin was 3.12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 3 basis points from the same quarter in the prior year due to originated loan growth, improvement in investment yields and lower funding costs, partially offset by continued purchased credit impaired (PCI) loan portfolio runoff.
  • BancShares remained well capitalized under Basel III capital requirements with a leverage capital ratio of 8.96 percent, Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.65 percent, common equity Tier 1 ratio of 12.51 percent and total risk-based capital ratio of 14.03 percent at December 31, 2015.

LOANS AND DEPOSITS

Loans at December 31, 2015, were $20.24 billion, a net increase of $384.2 million, or by 1.9 percent, during the fourth quarter. Originated loan growth was $477.7 million, primarily the result of continued growth in the commercial portfolio. PCI loans decreased by $93.5 million.

Loan balances increased by a net $1.47 billion, or 7.8 percent, since December 31, 2014. Growth was primarily driven by $1.71 billion of organic growth in the non-PCI portfolio. The PCI portfolio declined over this period by $236.0 million, reflecting continued loan runoff of $373.6 million, offset by net loans acquired from CCBT which totaled $137.6 million at December 31, 2015.

At December 31, 2015, deposits were $26.93 billion, an increase of $211.4 million, or by 0.8 percent, since September 30, 2015. The increase during the quarter was due to organic growth primarily in low-cost demand deposit accounts and checking with interest accounts, offset by runoff in time deposits. Deposits increased by $1.25 billion, or by 4.9 percent, since December 31, 2014, primarily due to organic growth in demand, checking with interest and savings accounts, offset by runoff in time deposits.

ALLOWANCE AND PROVISION FOR LOAN AND LEASE LOSSES

The allowance for loan and lease losses was $206.2 million at December 31, 2015, representing increases of $753 thousand and $1.8 million since September 30, 2015, and December 31, 2014, respectively. The allowance as a percentage of total loans at December 31, 2015, was 1.02 percent, compared to 1.03 percent and 1.09 percent at September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014. The decline in the allowance ratio at December 31, 2015, from both periods was due primarily to continued credit quality improvement.

BancShares recorded net provision expense of $7.0 million for loan and leases losses during the fourth quarter of 2015, and $107 thousand and $8.3 million for the third quarter of 2015 and fourth quarter of 2014, respectively. The $6.9 million increase in provision expense compared to the third quarter of 2015 was primarily due to a $4.1 million reversal of previously recorded specific reserves on impaired non-PCI loans in the prior quarter, loan growth and higher net charge-offs in the current quarter. This increase was offset by lower provision expense on PCI loans. The $1.3 million decline in net provision expense from the fourth quarter of 2014 was primarily due to improved credit quality in the loan portfolio, offset by higher net charge-offs and a lower net provision credit on PCI loans.

Non-PCI loan net provision expense was $7.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a net provision credit of $2.7 million and net provision expense of $10.9 million for the third quarter of 2015 and fourth quarter of 2014, respectively. The net provision expense in the current quarter primarily resulted from commercial loan growth and higher net charge-offs. The third quarter of 2015 net provision credit included a $4.1 million release of impaired loan reserves as refinements were made to discounted cash flow assumptions.

The PCI loan portfolio net provision credit was $0.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to net provision expense of $2.8 million and net provision credit of $2.6 million during the third quarter of 2015 and fourth quarter of 2014, respectively. The net provision expense in the third quarter of 2015 was primarily due to a $3.9 million reclassification impacting accretion income and provision expense, which had no net impact on earnings. The lower net provision credit compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 was attributable to the continued decline in this portfolio.

NONPERFORMING ASSETS

At December 31, 2015, BancShares’ nonperforming assets, including nonaccrual loans and other real estate owned (OREO) were $169.0 million, up from $162.5 million at September 30, 2015. The $6.5 million, or 4.0 percent, increase was due to $10.8 million higher nonaccrual loans with increases primarily in commercial and residential mortgage loans. This increase was offset by a $4.3 million decline in OREO balances to $65.6 million, primarily due to problem asset resolutions. Nonperforming assets declined $1.9 million from $170.9 million at December 31, 2014.

NET INTEREST INCOME

Net interest income decreased $8.7 million, or by 3.6 percent, from the third quarter of 2015, resulting primarily from lower accretion income in the PCI loan portfolio. The prior quarter had higher loan prepayments and a $3.9 million reclassification adjustment. Conversely, net interest income increased $13.5 million, or by 6.2 percent, to $230.7 million from the fourth quarter of 2014. Loan interest income was up $5.6 million as a result of higher interest income from originated loan growth, investment securities interest income improved by $3.8 million as matured cash flows were reinvested into higher yielding investments and interest expense declined by $3.7 million due to reduced borrowing and deposit funding costs.

The taxable-equivalent net interest margin for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 3.12 percent, a decline of 17 basis points from the third quarter of 2015, resulting from lower loan prepayments in the PCI loan portfolio and a $3.9 million reclassification adjustment. The taxable-equivalent net interest margin increased by 3 basis points from the same quarter in the prior year. The margin improvement was due to continued originated loan growth, improvement in investment yields and lower borrowing and deposit funding rates, partially offset by continued PCI loan portfolio runoff.

NONINTEREST INCOME

Noninterest income for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $99.1 million, down $10.6 million from the prior quarter. The decrease was due to $5.6 million of securities gains recognized in the third quarter of 2015, higher adjustments to the FDIC receivable of $5.1 million, a $4.0 million decline in wealth management income and lower mortgage income of $1.7 million. These decreases were partially offset by a $5.3 million increase in recoveries of PCI loans previously charged-off.

Noninterest income decreased by $36.6 million from the fourth quarter of 2014 primarily driven by the recognition of a $29.1 million gain recorded in 2014 on Bancorporation shares of stock owned by BancShares that were canceled on the merger date. Additionally, the decrease was due to higher adjustments to the FDIC receivable of $9.2 million, partially offset by a $4.3 million increase in recoveries of PCI loans previously charged-off.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

Noninterest expense decreased by $4.3 million to $255.9 million in comparison to the third quarter of 2015, due primarily to a $3.6 million reduction in salaries and wages expense and lower foreclosure-related expenses of $3.1 million, offset by a $2.5 million increase in occupancy expenses. The decline in salaries and wages was primarily due to a reduction in costs following the conversion of Bancorporation systems in the third quarter of 2015. The prior quarter included a $2.5 million depreciation adjustment resulting from the conversion of Bancorporation systems.

Noninterest expense decreased by $1.3 million from the same quarter last year primarily as a result of declines of $5.6 million and $2.8 million in foreclosure-related and merger-related expenses, respectively. The decline was partially offset by a $6.7 million increase in employee benefits due primarily to higher pension and healthcare costs.

INCOME TAXES

Income tax expense was $24.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, down from $32.9 million and $24.5 million for the third quarter of 2015 and fourth quarter of 2014, representing effective tax rates of 36.1 percent, 37.0 percent and 28.1 percent during the respective periods. The lower effective tax rate during the fourth quarter of 2014 results primarily from the impact of the tax benefit of the Bancorporation shares of stock owned by BancShares at the date of acquisition.

ABOUT FIRST CITIZENS BANCSHARES

BancShares is the financial holding company for Raleigh, North Carolina-headquartered First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (First Citizens Bank). First Citizens Bank provides a broad range of financial services to individuals, businesses, professionals and the medical community through branch offices in 18 states and the District of Columbia, online banking, mobile banking, ATMs and telephone banking. As of December 31, 2015, BancShares had total assets of $31.5 billion.

For more information, visit First Citizens' website at firstcitizens.com. First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Three months ended Year ended December 31
December 31, September 30, December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, except share data; unaudited)2015 2015 2014 2015 2014
SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
Interest income$241,861 $249,825 $232,122 $969,209 $760,448
Interest expense11,142 10,454 14,876 44,304 50,351
Net interest income230,719 239,371 217,246 924,905 710,097
Provision for loan and lease losses7,046 107 8,305 20,664 640
Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses223,673 239,264 208,941 904,241 709,457
Gain on acquisition 42,930
Noninterest income99,135 109,750 135,711 424,158 343,213
Noninterest expense255,886 260,172 257,216 1,038,915 849,076
Income before income taxes66,922 88,842 87,436 332,414 203,594
Income taxes24,174 32,884 24,540 122,028 65,032
Net income$42,748 $55,958 $62,896 $210,386 $138,562
Taxable-equivalent net interest income$232,147 $240,930 $218,436 $931,231 $714,085
PER SHARE DATA
Net income$3.56 $4.66 $5.24 $17.52 $13.56
Cash dividends0.30 0.30 0.30 1.20 1.20
Book value at period-end239.14 238.34 223.77 239.14 223.77
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
Cash and due from banks534,086 546,444 604,182 534,086 604,182
Overnight investments2,063,132 2,368,132 1,724,919 2,063,132 1,724,919
Investment securities6,861,548 6,690,879 7,172,435 6,861,548 7,172,435
Loans and leases20,239,990 19,855,806 18,769,465 20,239,990 18,769,465
Less allowance for loan and lease losses(206,216) (205,463) (204,466) (206,216) (204,466)
FDIC loss share receivable4,054 9,276 28,701 4,054 28,701
Other assets1,979,340 2,184,750 1,979,877 1,979,340 1,979,877
Total assets$31,475,934 $31,449,824 $30,075,113 $31,475,934 $30,075,113
Deposits26,930,755 26,719,375 25,678,577 26,930,755 25,678,577
Other liabilities1,673,070 1,867,921 1,708,942 1,673,070 1,708,942
Shareholders' equity2,872,109 2,862,528 2,687,594 2,872,109 2,687,594
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$31,475,934 $31,449,824 $30,075,113 $31,475,934 $30,075,113
SELECTED PERIOD AVERAGE BALANCES
Total assets$31,753,223 $31,268,774 $30,376,207 $31,072,235 $24,104,404
Investment securities6,731,183 7,275,290 7,110,799 7,011,767 5,994,080
Loans and leases20,059,556 19,761,145 18,538,553 19,528,153 14,820,126
Interest-earning assets29,565,715 29,097,839 28,064,279 28,893,157 22,232,051
Deposits27,029,650 26,719,713 25,851,672 26,485,245 20,368,275
Interest-bearing liabilities18,933,443 18,911,455 19,011,554 18,986,755 15,273,619
Shareholders' equity$2,867,177 $2,823,967 $2,712,905 $2,797,300 $2,256,292
Shares outstanding12,010,405 12,010,405 12,010,405 12,010,405 10,221,721
SELECTED RATIOS
Annualized return on average assets0.53% 0.71% 0.82% 0.68% 0.57%
Annualized return on average equity5.92 7.86 9.20 7.52 6.14
Taxable-equivalent net interest margin3.12 3.29 3.09 3.22 3.21
Efficiency ratio (1)77.57 75.73 79.42 77.63 82.85
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio12.65 12.77 13.61 12.65 13.61
Common equity Tier 1 ratio12.51 12.63 N/A 12.51 N/A
Total risk-based capital ratio14.03 14.18 14.69 14.03 14.69
Leverage capital ratio8.96 8.97 8.91 8.96 8.91
(1)The efficiency ratio is a non-GAAP financial measure which measures productivity and is generally calculated as noninterest expense divided by total revenue (net interest income and noninterest income). The efficiency ratio removes the impact of BancShares' securities and acquisition gains from the calculation. Management uses this ratio to monitor performance and believes this measure provides meaningful information to investors.


ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN AND LEASE LOSSES AND ASSET QUALITY DISCLOSURES
Three months ended Year ended December 31
December 31, September 30, December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, unaudited)2015 2015 2014 2015 2014
ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN AND LEASE LOSSES (ALLL)
ALLL at beginning of period$205,463 $208,317 $200,905 $204,466 $233,394
(Credit) provision for loan and lease losses:
Purchased credit-impaired (PCI) loans (1)(903) 2,769 (2,622) (2,273) (14,620)
Non-PCI loans (1)7,949 (2,662) 10,927 22,937 15,260
Net charge-offs of loans and leases:
Charge-offs(8,551) (5,698) (7,469) (28,348) (37,770)
Recoveries2,258 2,737 2,725 9,434 8,202
Net charge-offs of loans and leases(6,293) (2,961) (4,744) (18,914) (29,568)
ALLL at end of period$206,216 $205,463 $204,466 $206,216 $204,466
ALLL at end of period allocated to loans and leases:
PCI$16,312 $17,557 $21,629 $16,312 $21,629
Non-PCI189,904 187,906 182,837 189,904 182,837
ALLL at end of period$206,216 $205,463 $204,466 $206,216 $204,466
Net charge-offs of loans and leases:
PCI$342 $680 $1,549 $3,044 $17,271
Non-PCI5,951 2,281 3,195 15,870 12,297
Total net charge-offs$6,293 $2,961 $4,744 $18,914 $29,568
Reserve for unfunded commitments$379 $411 $333 $379 $333
SELECTED LOAN DATA
Average loans and leases:
PCI$996,637 $1,081,497 $1,244,910 $1,112,286 $1,195,238
Non-PCI19,062,919 18,679,648 17,293,643 18,415,867 13,624,888
Loans and leases at period-end:
PCI950,516 1,044,064 1,186,498 950,516 1,186,498
Non-PCI19,289,474 18,811,742 17,582,967 19,289,474 17,582,967
RISK ELEMENTS
Nonaccrual loans and leases:
Covered under loss share agreements$2,992 $3,171 $27,020 $2,992 $27,020
Not covered under loss share agreements100,441 89,434 50,407 100,441 50,407
Other real estate:
Covered6,817 8,152 22,982 6,817 22,982
Noncovered58,742 61,707 70,454 58,742 70,454
Nonperforming assets:
Covered9,809 11,323 50,002 9,809 50,002
Noncovered159,183 151,141 120,861 159,183 120,861
Total nonperforming assets$168,992 $162,464 $170,863 $168,992 $170,863
Accruing loans and leases 90 days or more past due$77,066 $79,816 $115,680 $77,066 $115,680
RATIOS
Net charge-offs (annualized) to average loans and leases:
PCI0.14% 0.25% 0.49% 0.27% 1.44%
Non-PCI0.12 0.05 0.07 0.09 0.09
ALLL to total loans and leases:
PCI1.72 1.68 1.82 1.72 1.82
Non-PCI0.98 1.00 1.04 0.98 1.04
Total1.02 1.03 1.09 1.02 1.09
Ratio of nonperforming assets to total loans, leases and other real estate
Covered3.51 3.72 9.84 3.51 9.84
Noncovered0.79 0.77 0.66 0.79 0.66
Total0.83 0.82 0.91 0.83 0.91

(1) Loans and leases are evaluated at acquisition and where a discount is noted at least in part due to credit quality, the loans are accounted for under the guidance in ASC Topic 310-30, Loans and Debt Securities Acquired with Deteriorated Credit Quality. Loans for which it is probable at acquisition that all required payments will not be collected in accordance with the contractual terms are considered purchased credit-impaired (PCI) loans. PCI loans and leases are recorded at fair value at the date of acquisition. No allowance for loan and lease losses is recorded on the acquisition date as the fair value of the acquired assets incorporates assumptions regarding credit risk. An allowance is recorded if there is additional credit deterioration after the acquisition date. Conversely, Non-PCI loans include originated and purchased non-impaired loans.


AVERAGE BALANCE AND NET INTEREST MARGIN SUMMARY
Three months ended
December 31, 2015 September 30, 2015 December 31, 2014
Average Yield/ Average Yield/ Average Yield/
(Dollars in thousands, unaudited)Balance Interest Rate Balance Interest Rate Balance Interest Rate
INTEREST-EARNING ASSETS
Loans and leases$20,059,556 $218,048 4.32 %$19,761,145 $225,955 4.54 %$18,538,553 $212,058 4.54 %
Investment securities:
U. S. Treasury1,686,269 3,092 0.73 2,004,586 3,887 0.77 2,683,820 5,405 0.80
Government agency599,048 1,282 0.86 756,474 1,922 1.02 1,012,044 901 0.36
Mortgage-backed securities4,437,936 18,632 1.68 4,514,212 18,446 1.63 3,411,011 13,122 1.54
State, county and municipal 621 12 7.73
Other7,930 205 10.30 18 3,303 126 15.13
Total investment securities6,731,183 23,211 1.38 7,275,290 24,255 1.33 7,110,799 19,566 1.10
Overnight investments2,774,976 2,030 0.29 2,061,404 1,174 0.23 2,414,927 1,689 0.28
Total interest-earning assets$29,565,715 $243,289 3.27 %$29,097,839 $251,384 3.43 %$28,064,279 $233,313 3.30 %
INTEREST-BEARING LIABILITIES
Interest-bearing deposits:
Checking with interest$4,234,147 $204 0.02 %$4,180,364 $225 0.02 %$4,332,424 $379 0.03 %
Savings1,887,520 142 0.03 1,866,161 119 0.03 1,206,860 91 0.03
Money market accounts8,175,228 1,605 0.08 8,229,793 1,788 0.09 8,332,418 1,721 0.08
Time deposits3,200,354 2,900 0.36 3,312,291 3,084 0.37 3,649,803 4,062 0.44
Total interest-bearing deposits17,497,249 4,851 0.11 17,588,609 5,216 0.12 17,521,505 6,253 0.14
Repurchase agreements728,526 471 0.26 762,081 502 0.26 328,470 139 0.17
Other short-term borrowings3,203 7 1.39 12,551 88 2.84 757,216 4,209 2.21
Long-term obligations704,465 5,813 3.30 548,214 4,648 3.39 404,363 4,276 4.23
Total interest-bearing liabilities$18,933,443 $11,142 0.23 %$18,911,455 $10,454 0.22 %$19,011,554 $14,877 0.31 %
Interest rate spread 3.04 % 3.21 % 2.99 %
Net interest income and net yield on interest-earning assets $232,147 3.12 % $240,930 3.29 % $218,436 3.09 %

Loans and leases include PCI loans, non-PCI loans, nonaccrual loans and loans held for sale. Yields related to loans, leases and securities exempt from both federal and state income taxes, federal income taxes only, or state income taxes only are stated on a taxable-equivalent basis assuming statutory federal income tax rates of 35.0 percent for each period and state income tax rates of 5.5 percent, 6.2 percent and 6.2 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2015, September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively. The taxable-equivalent adjustment was $1,428, $1,559 and $1,190 for the three months ended December 31, 2015, September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively. The rate/volume variance is allocated equally between the changes in volume and rate.


Contact: Barbara Thompson First Citizens BancShares (919) 716-2716

Source:First Citizens BancShares Inc.