News Release · April 26, 2017

First Citizens BancShares Reports Earnings For First Quarter 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. — First Citizens BancShares Inc. (BancShares) (Nasdaq: FCNCA) announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $67.6 million, or $5.63 per share, compared to $52.7 million, or $4.39 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016, and $52.1 million, or $4.34 per share, for the corresponding period of 2016, according to Frank B. Holding, Jr., chairman of the board. BancShares’ current quarter results generated an annualized return on average assets of 0.82 percent and an annualized return on average equity of 8.96 percent, compared to respective returns of 0.63 percent and 6.86 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016, and 0.66 percent and 7.17 percent for the first quarter of 2016.

Earnings for the first quarter of 2017 included a pre-tax acquisition gain of $12.0 million recognized in connection with the January 13, 2017, FDIC-assisted transaction involving certain assets and liabilities assumed of Harvest Community Bank (HCB) of Pennsville, New Jersey. The HCB acquisition contributed $82.5 million in loans and $106.8 million in deposit balances at March 31, 2017. Earnings for the same period in 2016 included $4.6 million in investment securities gains and a $1.7 million gain recognized in connection with the March 11, 2016, acquisition of North Milwaukee State Bank (NMSB) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Loans grew by $168.6 million to $21.91 billion, or by 3.2 percent on an annualized basis, during the first quarter of 2017, reflecting originated portfolio growth and the HCB acquisition.
  • Deposits increased $841.4 million, or by 12.1 percent on an annualized basis, from December 31, 2016, primarily due to organic growth in low-cost demand deposit accounts and the deposit balances acquired from HCB.
  • Net interest income increased $6.4 million, or by 2.6 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily due to higher interest income earned on purchased credit impaired (PCI) loans and investment securities.
  • The taxable-equivalent net interest margin increased 11 basis points to 3.25 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, primarily due to improved investment yields and higher investment portfolio balances.
  • Net charge-offs on total loans and leases were $6.1 million, or 0.11 percent of average loans and leases on an annualized basis, compared to $9.2 million, or 0.17 percent, during the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • BancShares remained well capitalized at March 31, 2017, under Basel III capital requirements with a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.57 percent, common equity Tier 1 ratio of 12.57 percent, total risk-based capital ratio of 13.99 percent and leverage capital ratio of 9.15 percent.

LOANS AND DEPOSITS

Loans at March 31, 2017, were $21.91 billion, a net increase of $168.6 million compared to December 31, 2016, representing growth of 3.2 percent on an annualized basis. Originated loans increased by $161.4 million primarily related to growth in the commercial portfolio. Originated loan growth was partially offset by the sale of certain residential mortgage loans totaling $32.5 million, which resulted in a gain of $164 thousand. PCI loans increased by $39.6 million reflecting net loans acquired from HCB of $82.5 million at March 31, 2017, offset by loan run-off of $42.9 million.

At March 31, 2017, deposits were $29.00 billion, an increase of $841.4 million since December 31, 2016, due to organic growth in demand deposit, savings and checking with interest accounts and the deposit balances totaling $106.8 million from the HCB acquisition, offset by run-off in time deposits and money market accounts.

ALLOWANCE AND PROVISION FOR LOAN AND LEASE LOSSES

The allowance for loan and lease losses was $220.9 million at March 31, 2017, an increase of $2.1 million from December 31, 2016. The allowance as a percentage of total loans at March 31, 2017, was 1.01 percent, unchanged from December 31, 2016.

BancShares recorded net provision expense of $8.2 million for loan and lease losses for the first quarter of 2017, and $16.0 million and $4.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2016, respectively. The $7.8 million decrease in net provision expense compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 was due to lower originated loan growth and net charge-offs, offset by select downgrades in the commercial portfolio in the current quarter. The $3.4 million increase in net provision expense from the first quarter of 2016 was primarily due to higher net charge-offs and select downgrades in the commercial portfolio, offset by lower originated loan growth in the current quarter.

The non-PCI loan provision expense was $11.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to provision expense of $13.9 million and $6.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2016, respectively. The PCI loan portfolio net provision credit was $2.9 million during the first quarter of 2017, compared to provision expense of $2.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 and a net provision credit of $2.0 million during the first quarter of 2016.

NONPERFORMING ASSETS

At March 31, 2017, BancShares’ nonperforming assets, including nonaccrual loans and other real estate owned (OREO), were $144.0 million, down from $147.0 million at December 31, 2016. The decrease was due to a $4.7 million decline in OREO as sales outpaced additions, offset by a $1.8 million increase in nonaccrual loans, primarily in residential mortgage loans.

NET INTEREST INCOME

Net interest income increased $6.4 million, or by 2.6 percent, to $250.3 million from the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase was due to higher investment securities interest income of $4.1 million, an increase in PCI loan interest income of $2.3 million, a $618 thousand increase in interest income earned on overnight investments and a decrease in interest expense of $351 thousand, partially offset by a decrease in non-PCI loan interest income of $1.0 million.

Net interest income increased $17.6 million, or by 7.6 percent, from the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily due to a $12.8 million increase in non-PCI loan interest income due to originated loan volume, a $6.7 million increase in investment securities interest income and an $810 thousand increase in interest income earned on excess cash held in overnight investments. These increases in net interest income were offset by a decline in PCI loan income of $2.6 million resulting from continued PCI loan portfolio run-off and a $122 thousand increase in interest expense.

The taxable-equivalent net interest margin was 3.25 percent for the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 11 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase of 7 basis points from the same quarter in the prior year. The margin improvement for both periods was primarily due to improved investment yields and higher investment portfolio balances.

NONINTEREST INCOME

Total noninterest income for the first quarter of 2017 was $127.3 million, an increase of $2.6 million from the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase was driven primarily by the $12.0 million gain on the acquisition of HCB, higher wealth management services fees of $1.6 million and an increase in other service charges and fees of $893 thousand. These increases were partially offset by lower investment securities gains of $9.2 million and a $3.0 million decline in recoveries of PCI loans previously charged-off.

Noninterest income, excluding acquisition gains, increased by $11.7 million from the first quarter of 2016. This increase was due to higher mortgage income of $6.3 million due primarily to a favorable interest rate lock commitment position in the current quarter and an impairment charge of $1.9 million on mortgage servicing assets recognized in the first quarter of 2016. Noninterest income also benefited from a $3.0 million increase in merchant services as a result of higher sales volume, a $1.9 million increase in cardholder income due to higher sales volume and a rewards product launch, a $2.3 million increase in recoveries of PCI loans previously charged-off, a $1.3 million increase in wealth management services fees and lower FDIC receivable adjustments of $905 thousand. These favorable impacts were partially offset by a $4.7 million decrease in securities gains.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

Noninterest expense decreased by $7.2 million to $264.3 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Occupancy expense declined by $3.0 million due primarily to bank building repairs related to Hurricane Matthew recognized in the fourth quarter of 2016. Other favorable impacts included decreases in consultant expense of $1.4 million and processing fees paid to third parties of $1.0 million. Additionally, other expense declined primarily as a result of a $1.2 million reversal of a repurchase reserve on a Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan, lower losses on asset sales of $528 thousand recognized in the current quarter and an increase to the unfunded commitment reserve of $754 thousand recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016. These decreases in noninterest expense were partially offset by an increase in personnel expense of $4.2 million as a result of higher payroll taxes and healthcare costs.

Noninterest expense increased by $12.7 million from the same quarter last year, primarily the result of a $10.3 million increase in personnel expense due to merit increases, increased headcount and higher payroll incentives, a $2.2 million increase in equipment expense due to software maintenance projects and a $1.7 million increase in merchant processing expense related to higher sales volume. These increases were partially offset by a $1.3 million decrease in collection expense associated with managing fewer nonperforming assets.

INCOME TAXES

Income tax expense was $37.4 million, $28.4 million and $29.4 million for the first quarter of 2017, fourth quarter of 2016, and first quarter of 2016, representing effective tax rates of 35.6 percent, 35.0 percent and 36.1 percent during the respective periods.

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 21 states, including online banking, mobile banking, ATMs and telephone banking. As of March 31, 2017, BancShares had total assets of $34.02 billion.

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

Download the First Citizens BancShares First Quarter 2017 Financials (PDF).

Contact Information:

Barbara Thompson
919-716-2716
First Citizens BancShares

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