Hancock reports fourth quarter 2017 EPS of $.64

GULFPORT, Miss., Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq:HBHC) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $55.4 million, or $.64 per diluted common share (EPS), compared to $58.9 million, or $.68 EPS in the third quarter of 2017 and $51.8 million, or $.64 EPS, in the fourth quarter of 2016. The fourth quarter of 2017 includes an estimated $19.5 million ($.22 per share impact) tax reform related re-measurement charge of the net deferred tax asset (DTA), while the third quarter of 2017 included $11.4 million of nonoperating items ($.08 per share) mainly related to the two previously disclosed FNBC transactions. There were no nonoperating items in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Highlights of the company’s fourth quarter 2017 results (compared to third quarter 2017):

  • Reported earnings decreased $3.5 million, or 6%; excluding the impact of the DTA re-measurement charge and nonoperating items, earnings increased $8.7 million, or 13%
  • The fourth quarter includes an estimated $19.5 million charge related to the re-measurement of the net deferred tax asset
  • Loans increased $218 million, or 5% linked-quarter annualized; net increase includes a decline in energy loans of $78 million linked-quarter
  • Energy loans totaled $1.1 billion at year-end and comprised 5.6% of total loans, down from 6.0%; allowance for the energy portfolio totaled $70.2 million, or 6.7% of energy loans
  • Core pre-provision net revenue (PPNR) of $116.5 million, up $5.4 million, or 5%; up 34% from the same quarter a year ago
  • Net interest margin (NIM) of 3.48%, up 4 bps; core NIM up 3 bps to 3.35%
  • Operating expenses totaled $168.1 million, up 1% linked-quarter
  • Efficiency ratio improved almost 100 bps to 56.6%
  • Return on average assets (ROA) declined 6 bps to 0.82%; excluding nonoperating items and the DTA charge, ROA increased 11 bps to 1.10%
  • Tangible common equity (TCE) ratio decreased 7 bps to 7.73% mainly related to the DTA re-measurement charge

“We are extremely proud of a notable quarter to finish a strong year of improving performance,” said John M. Hairston, President and CEO. “Our team delivered impressive operating earnings that reflected a ROA of 1.10%, efficiency ratio at 56.6%, ROTCE of 14.62% and EPS up 13% linked-quarter. With early achievement of our Corporate Strategic Objectives, we end 2017 on a positive note and enter the new year with opportunities to continue building upon that success. Our “next day” begins with a recently announced wealth management transaction, the combination of our two iconic brands, and a tax reform act likely to benefit all clients and shareholders. These are just a few of the items we have on our plate to start 2018, and we look forward to continuing improvement as we work hard to achieve our updated CSOs. I particularly want to commend our 4,000 team members who worked relentlessly to produce a 2017 we can all be proud of.”

Loans
Total loans at December 31, 2017 were $19.0 billion, up approximately $218 million, or 1%, linked-quarter. Loans to energy-related companies decreased $78 million during the fourth quarter. Net loan growth during the quarter continues to be diversified across the footprint and also in areas identified as part of the company’s revenue-generating initiatives.

Average loans totaled $18.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, up $248 million, or 1%, linked-quarter.

Energy
At December 31, 2017, loans to the energy industry totaled $1.1 billion, or 5.6% of total loans. As noted earlier, the energy portfolio was down $78 million, or 7%, linked-quarter, and is comprised of credits to both the exploration and production (E&P) sector and the support and services sectors. Payoffs and paydowns of approximately $133 million and charge-offs of approximately $8 million were partially offset by approximately $63 million in fundings.

The impact and severity of future risk rating migration, as well as any associated provisions or net charge-offs, will depend on overall oil prices and the duration of the energy cycle that began in November 2014. Recent higher oil prices are helpful in the recovery of credits impacted by the energy cycle, however the key to resolution of many of those credits, especially in support services, is stabilization of prices over the longer term.

Management continues to estimate that net charge-offs from energy-related credits could approximate up to $95 million over the duration of the cycle, of which approximately $76 million has been taken to-date. While we expect additional charge-offs in the portfolio, we continue to believe the impact of the energy cycle on our loan portfolio will be manageable, our reserve is adequate and our capital will remain solid.

Deposits
Total deposits at December 31, 2017 were $22.3 billion, up $719 million, or 3%, from September 30, 2017. The increase is mainly related to annual year-end seasonality of public fund deposits.

Noninterest-bearing demand deposits (DDAs) totaled $8.3 billion at December 31, 2017, up $411 million, or 5%, from September 30, 2017. DDAs comprised 37% of total period-end deposits at December 31, 2017.

Interest-bearing transaction and savings deposits totaled $8.2 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, up $288 million, or 4%, from September 30, 2017. Time deposits of $2.7 billion were down $258 million, or 9%, while interest-bearing public fund deposits increased $278 million, or 10%, to $3.0 billion at December 31, 2017.

Average deposits for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $21.8 billion, up $413 million, or 2%, linked-quarter.

Asset Quality
Nonperforming assets (NPAs) totaled $401 million at December 31, 2017, up $13.2 million from September 30, 2017. During the fourth quarter of 2017, total nonperforming loans increased approximately $6.9 million, while foreclosed and surplus real estate (ORE) and other foreclosed assets increased approximately $6.3 million. Nonperforming assets as a percent of total loans, ORE and other foreclosed assets was 2.11% at December 31, 2017, up 5 bps from September 30, 2017.

The total allowance for loan losses (ALLL) was $217.3 million at December 31, 2017, down $5.8 million from September 30, 2017. The ratio of the allowance for loan losses to period-end loans was 1.14% at December 31, 2017, down 5 bps from 1.19% at September 30, 2017. The allowance for credits in the energy portfolio totaled $70.2 million, or 6.7% of energy loans, at December 31, 2017, as compared to $79.8 million, or 7.0% of energy loans, at September 30, 2017.

Net charge-offs were $21.0 million, or 0.44% of average total loans on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from $11.8 million, or 0.25% of average total loans in the third quarter of 2017. There were approximately $8.4 million of net charge-offs related to energy credits in the fourth quarter of 2017.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, Hancock recorded a total provision for loan losses of $15.0 million, up from $13.0 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin (NIM)
Net interest income (TE) for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $217.0 million, up $5.5 million from the third quarter of 2017. The increase reflects both a change in the mix of earning assets and growth in earning assets, an increase in the loan yield of 7 bps and a 2 bp increase in the yield on the securities portfolio. These improvements were partially offset by a 2 bp increase in the cost of funds related to higher rates paid on time deposits and public fund deposits.

Average earning assets were $24.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, up $325 million, or 1%, from the third quarter of 2017. The reported net interest margin (TE) was 3.48% for the fourth quarter of 2017, up 4 bps from the third quarter of 2017.

Noninterest Income
Noninterest income totaled $69.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, up $2.6 million, or 4%, from the third quarter of 2017.

Service charges on deposits totaled $22.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, up $1.0 million, or 5%, from the third quarter of 2017. Bank card and ATM fees totaled $14.2 million, up $0.8 million, or 6%, from the third quarter of 2017.

Trust fees totaled $11.1 million, up $0.3 million, or 3% linked-quarter. Investment and annuity income and insurance fees totaled $5.8 million, down $0.4 million, or 7%, linked-quarter.

Fees from secondary mortgage operations totaled $3.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, down $0.9 million, or 22%, linked-quarter.

Other noninterest income totaled $12.9 million, up $1.8 million, or 16%, from the third quarter of 2017. The increase is mainly related to a gain from the bulk sale of loans from the Peoples First acquisition, partially offset by several smaller miscellaneous items.

Noninterest Expense & Taxes
Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter of 2017 totaled $168.1 million, down $9.6 million, or 5%, from the third quarter of 2017. Included in the third quarter’s total are $11.4 million of nonoperating expenses mainly related to costs associated with the FNBC transactions. Excluding these items, operating expenses were up $1.8 million, or 1%, linked-quarter.

Total personnel expense was $95.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up $2.5 million, or 3%, from the third quarter of 2017. The increase is mainly related to performance-based incentive pay.

Occupancy and equipment expense totaled $15.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, down $0.8 million, or 5%, from the third quarter of 2017.

Amortization of intangibles totaled $5.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, down $0.2 million or 3% linked-quarter. Net gains on ORE dispositions exceeded ORE expense by $0.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The third quarter reflects a more normal level of ORE expense at $0.2 million.

Other operating expense totaled $52.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up $0.8 million, or 2%, from the third quarter of 2017.

The effective income tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 21% (excludes the DTA re-measurement charge). The lower rate in the fourth quarter was related to the tax benefit of a stock compensation deduction in excess of book expense. Management expects the tax rate beginning in 2018 to approximate 16-18% mainly as a result of the tax reform act. The effective income tax rate continues to be less than the statutory rate due primarily to tax-exempt income and tax credits.

Capital
Common shareholders’ equity at December 31, 2017 totaled $2.9 billion. The tangible common equity (TCE) ratio was 7.73%, down 7 bps from September 30, 2017. The decrease is mainly related to the re-measurement charge of the DTA related to tax reform. Additional capital ratios are included in the financial tables.

Conference Call and Slide Presentation
Management will host a conference call for analysts and investors at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, January 18, 2018 to review the results. A live listen-only webcast of the call will be available under the Investor Relations section of Hancock’s website at www.hancockwhitney.com/investors. A link to the release with additional financial tables, and a link to a slide presentation related to fourth quarter results are also posted as part of the webcast link. To participate in the Q&A portion of the call, dial (877) 564-1219 or (973) 638-3429. An audio archive of the conference call will be available under the Investor Relations section of our website. A replay of the call will also be available through January 25, 2018 by dialing (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406, passcode 9496765.

About Hancock Holding Company
Hancock Holding Company is a financial services company with regional business headquarters and locations across the Gulf South. The company’s banking subsidiary provides comprehensive financial products and services through Hancock Bank locations in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and Whitney Bank locations in Louisiana and Texas, including traditional, online, and mobile banking; commercial and small business banking; private banking; trust and investment services; certain insurance services; and mortgage services. More information is available at www.hancockwhitney.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This news release includes non-GAAP financial measures to describe Hancock’s performance. The reconciliations of those measures to GAAP measures are provided within Appendix A on page 17 of the additional financial tables.

In this news release, consistent with Securities and Exchange Commission Industry Guide 3, the company presents net interest income, net interest margin and efficiency ratios on a fully taxable equivalent (“TE”) basis. The TE basis adjusts for the tax-favored status of net interest income from certain loans and investments using a federal tax rate of 35% to increase tax-exempt interest income to a taxable-equivalent basis. The company believes this measure to be the preferred industry measurement of net interest income and it enhances comparability of net interest income arising from taxable and tax-exempt sources.

Over the past several quarters we have disclosed our focus on strategic initiatives that were designed to replace declining levels of income from purchase accounting adjustments from acquisitions with improvement in core income, which the company defines as income excluding net purchase accounting adjustments. The company presents core income non-GAAP measures including core net interest income and core net interest margin, core revenue and core pre-provision net revenue. These measures are provided to assist the reader with a better understanding of the company’s performance period over period as well as providing investors with assistance in understanding the success management has experienced in executing its strategic initiatives.

We define Core Net Interest Income as net interest income (TE) excluding net purchase accounting accretion resulting from the fair market value adjustments related to acquired operations. We define Core Net Interest Margin as reported core net interest income expressed as a percentage of average earning assets. A reconciliation of reported net interest income to core net interest income and reported net interest margin to core net interest margin is included in Appendix A.

We define Core Revenue as core net interest income and noninterest income less the amortization of the FDIC loss share receivable related to loans acquired in an FDIC assisted transaction and other nonoperating revenue. A reconciliation of total revenue to core revenue is included in Appendix A.

We define Core Pre-Provision Net Revenue as core revenue less noninterest expense, excluding nonoperating items and intangible asset amortization. Management believes that core pre-provision net revenue is a useful financial measure because it enables investors and others to assess the Company’s ability to generate capital to cover credit losses through a credit cycle. A reconciliation of net income to core pre-provision net revenue is included in Appendix A.

Important Cautionary Statement About Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward- looking statements that we may make include statements regarding balance sheet and revenue growth, the provision for loans losses, loan growth expectations, management’s predictions about charge-offs for loans, including energy-related credits, the impact of changes in oil and gas prices on our energy portfolio, and the downstream impact on businesses that support the energy sector, especially in the Gulf Coast region, the impact of the transactions with First NBC and Capital One on our performance and financial condition, including our ability to successfully integrate the businesses, deposit trends, credit quality trends, net interest margin trends, future expense levels, success of revenue-generating initiatives, projected tax rates, future profitability, improvements in expense to revenue (efficiency) ratio, purchase accounting impacts such as accretion levels, the impact of tax reform and the financial impact of regulatory requirements. Also, any statement that does not describe historical or current facts is a forward-looking statement. These statements often include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “forecast,” “goals,” “targets,” “initiatives,” “focus,” “potentially,” “probably,” “projects,” “outlook” or similar expressions or future conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” and “could.” Forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of management and on information currently available to management. Our statements speak as of the date hereof, and we do not assume any obligation to update these statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those contained in such statements in light of new information or future events.

Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking statement made in this release is subject to the safe harbor protections set forth in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on such statements. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward looking statements. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and in other periodic reports that we file with the SEC.

For More Information
Trisha Voltz Carlson
EVP, Investor Relations Manager
504.299.5208
trisha.carlson@hancockwhitney.com

HANCOCK HOLDING COMPANY
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
(dollars and common share data in thousands, except per share amounts) 12/31/2017 9/30/2017 12/31/2016 12/31/2017 12/31/2016
INCOME STATEMENT DATA
Net interest income $ 208,047 $ 202,857 $ 167,798 $ 792,312 $ 659,116
Net interest income (TE) (a) 216,996 211,436 175,314 826,702 684,955
Provision for loan losses 14,986 13,040 14,455 58,968 110,659
Noninterest income 69,688 67,115 65,893 267,781 250,781
Noninterest expense 168,063 177,616 156,283 692,691 612,315
Net income 55,449 58,902 51,831 215,632 149,296
For informational purposes only:
Nonoperating items, net - pre-tax 11,393 24,121 4,978
Impact of re-measurement of defered tax asset (b) 19,520 19,520
PERIOD-END BALANCE SHEET DATA
Loans $ 19,004,163 $18,786,285 $16,752,151 $ 19,004,163 $16,752,151
Securities 5,888,380 5,624,552 5,017,128 5,888,380 5,017,128
Earning assets 25,024,792 24,545,798 21,881,520 25,024,792 21,881,520
Total assets 27,336,086 26,816,755 23,975,302 27,336,086 23,975,302
Noninterest-bearing deposits 8,307,497 7,896,384 7,658,203 8,307,497 7,658,203
Total deposits 22,253,202 21,533,859 19,424,266 22,253,202 19,424,266
Common shareholders' equity 2,884,949 2,863,275 2,719,768 2,884,949 2,719,768
AVERAGE BALANCE SHEET DATA
Loans $ 18,839,537 $18,591,219 $16,323,897 $ 18,280,885 $16,064,593
Securities (c) 5,801,451 5,679,841 4,939,240 5,442,829 4,706,482
Earning assets 24,812,676 24,487,426 21,462,188 24,108,711 21,180,146
Total assets 26,973,507 26,677,573 23,437,530 26,240,751 23,178,633
Noninterest-bearing deposits 8,095,563 7,775,913 7,534,392 7,777,652 7,232,221
Total deposits 21,762,757 21,349,818 18,912,155 20,831,582 18,656,325
Common shareholders' equity 2,867,475 2,838,517 2,517,418 2,806,868 2,463,067
COMMON SHARE DATA
Earnings per share - diluted$ 0.64 $ 0.68 $ 0.64 $ 2.48 $ 1.87
Cash dividends per share 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.96 0.96
Book value per share (period-end) 33.86 33.78 32.29 33.86 32.29
Tangible book value per share (period-end) 24.05 23.92 23.87 24.05 23.87
Weighted average number of shares - diluted 85,303 84,980 79,067 84,963 77,949
Period-end number of shares 85,200 84,767 84,235 85,200 84,235
Market data
High sales price$ 53.35 $ 50.40 $ 45.50 $ 53.35 $ 45.50
Low sales price 46.18 41.05 31.73 41.05 20.01
Period-end closing price 49.50 48.45 43.10 49.50 43.10
Trading volume 29,308 33,243 43,664 146,705 184,460
PERFORMANCE RATIOS
Return on average assets 0.82 % 0.88% 0.88% 0.82 % 0.64%
Return on average common equity 7.67 % 8.23% 8.19% 7.68 % 6.06%
Return on average tangible common equity 10.81 % 11.68% 11.42% 10.78 % 8.56%
Tangible common equity ratio (d) 7.73 % 7.80% 8.64% 7.73 % 8.64%
Net interest margin (TE) 3.48 % 3.44% 3.26% 3.43 % 3.23%
Average loan/deposit ratio 86.57 % 87.08% 86.31% 87.76 % 86.11%
Efficiency ratio (e) 56.57 % 57.50% 62.82% 58.87 % 62.79%
Allowance for loan losses as a percent of period-end loans 1.14 % 1.19% 1.37% 1.14 % 1.37%
Annualized net non-purchased credit impaired charge-offs to average loans 0.44 % 0.25% 0.50% 0.38 % 0.37%
Allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans + accruing loans 90 days past due 54.18 % 56.45% 63.58% 54.18 % 63.58%
Noninterest income as a percent of total revenue (TE) 24.31 % 24.09% 27.32% 24.47 % 26.80%
FTE headcount 3,887 3,979 3,724 3,887 3,724

(a) Taxable equivalent (TE) amounts are calculated using a federal income tax rate of 35%.
(b) Income tax expense resulting from re-measurement of the net deferred tax asset following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
(c) Average securities does not include unrealized holding gains/losses on available for sale securities.
(d) The tangible common equity ratio is common shareholders' equity less intangible assets divided by total assets less intangible assets. (e) The efficiency ratio is noninterest expense to total net interest income (TE) and noninterest income, excluding amortization of purchased intangibles, and nonoperating items.

HANCOCK HOLDING COMPANY
QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
(dollars and common share data in thousands, except per share amounts) 12/31/2017 9/30/2017 6/30/2017 3/31/2017 12/31/2016
INCOME STATEMENT DATA
Net interest income $ 208,047 $202,857 $199,717 $181,691 $167,798
Net interest income (TE) (a) 216,996 211,436 208,281 189,989 175,314
Provision for loan losses 14,986 13,040 14,951 15,991 14,455
Noninterest income 69,688 67,115 67,487 63,491 65,893
Noninterest expense 168,063 177,616 183,470 163,542 156,283
Net income 55,449 58,902 52,267 49,014 51,831
For informational purposes only:
Nonoperating items, net - pre-tax 11,393 10,617 2,111
Impact of re-measurement of defered tax asset (b) 19,520
PERIOD-END BALANCE SHEET DATA
Loans $19,004,163 $18,786,285 $18,473,841 $18,204,868 $16,752,151
Securities 5,888,380 5,624,552 5,668,836 5,001,273 5,017,128
Earning assets 25,024,792 24,545,798 24,295,892 23,278,297 21,881,520
Total assets 27,336,086 26,816,755 26,630,569 25,485,026 23,975,302
Noninterest-bearing deposits 8,307,497 7,896,384 7,887,867 7,722,279 7,658,203
Total deposits 22,253,202 21,533,859 21,442,815 19,922,020 19,424,266
Common shareholders' equity 2,884,949 2,863,275 2,813,962 2,763,622 2,719,768
AVERAGE BALANCE SHEET DATA
Loans $18,839,537 $18,591,219 $18,369,446 $17,303,044 $16,323,897
Securities (c) 5,801,451 5,679,841 5,241,735 5,037,286 4,939,240
Earning assets 24,812,676 24,487,426 24,338,130 22,770,001 21,462,188
Total assets 26,973,507 26,677,573 26,526,253 24,756,506 23,437,530
Noninterest-bearing deposits 8,095,563 7,775,913 7,769,932 7,462,258 7,534,392
Total deposits 21,762,757 21,349,818 20,932,561 19,247,858 18,912,155
Common shareholders' equity 2,867,475 2,838,517 2,786,566 2,733,089 2,517,418
COMMON SHARE DATA
Earnings per share - diluted $ 0.64 $0.68 $0.60 $0.57 $0.64
Cash dividends per share 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.24
Book value per share (period-end) 33.86 33.78 33.21 32.70 32.29
Tangible book value per share (period-end) 24.05 23.92 23.27 23.19 23.87
Weighted average number of shares - diluted 85,303 84,980 84,867 84,624 79,067
Period-end number of shares 85,200 84,767 84,738 84,517 84,235
Market data
High sales price $ 53.35 $50.40 $52.94 $49.50 $45.50
Low sales price 46.18 41.05 42.70 41.71 31.73
Period-end closing price 49.50 48.45 49.00 45.55 43.10
Trading volume 29,308 33,243 39,035 45,119 43,664
PERFORMANCE RATIOS
Return on average assets 0.82 % 0.88% 0.79% 0.80% 0.88%
Return on average common equity 7.67 % 8.23% 7.52% 7.27% 8.19%
Return on average tangible common equity 10.81 % 11.68% 10.69% 9.92% 11.42%
Tangible common equity ratio (d) 7.73 % 7.80% 7.65% 7.94% 8.64%
Net interest margin (TE) 3.48 % 3.44% 3.43% 3.37% 3.26%
Average loan/deposit ratio 86.57 % 87.08% 87.76% 89.90% 86.31%
Efficiency ratio (e) 56.57 % 57.50% 60.59% 61.16% 62.82%
Allowance for loan losses as a percent of period-end loans 1.14 % 1.19% 1.20% 1.17% 1.37%
Annualized net non-purchased credit impaired charge-offs to average loans 0.44 % 0.25% 0.13% 0.70% 0.50%
Allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans + accruing loans 90 days past due 54.18 % 56.45% 63.92% 68.77% 63.58%
Average shareholders' equity to average total assets 0.11 % 0.11% 0.11% 0.11% 0.11%
Noninterest income as a percent of total revenue (TE) 24.31 % 24.09% 24.47% 25.05% 27.32%
FTE headcount 3,887 3,979 4,162 3,819 3,724

(a) Taxable equivalent (TE) amounts are calculated using a federal income tax rate of 35%.
(b) Income tax expense resulting from re-measurement of the net deferred tax asset following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
(c) Average securities does not include unrealized holding gains/losses on available for sale securities.
(d) The tangible common equity ratio is common shareholders' equity less intangible assets divided by total assets less intangible assets.
(e) The efficiency ratio is noninterest expense to total net interest income (TE) and noninterest income, excluding amortization of purchased intangibles, and nonoperating items.

Source:Hancock Holding Company