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Premier Financial Corp. Announces Solid Third Quarter Results Including Core Loan Growth and Net Interest Margin Expansion

Published : Thursday, October 28, 2021, 1:15 pm
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Third Quarter 2021 Highlights


  • Net income of $28.4 million, up $2.7 million (10.5%) from 2020 third quarter
  • Earnings per share of $0.76, up $0.07 (10.1%) from 2020 third quarter
  • Loan growth of $64.4 million excluding PPP (up 5.1% annualized) including $37.2 million for commercial loans (up 4.4% annualized) during 2021 third quarter
  • Net interest margin of 3.38% or 3.27% excluding PPP and marks, up 4 and 7 basis points respectively, from second quarter 2021
  • Average deposit costs down 3 basis points to 0.20% from second quarter 2021
  • Allowance to loans ratio of 1.39%, or 1.43% excluding PPP loans, for 2021 third quarter
  • Service fee income of $6.1 million, up $1.3 million (26.3%) from 2020 third quarter
  • Pre-tax pre-provision ROAA of 1.91% for 2021 third quarter
  • ROA, ROE and ROTE of 1.49%, 11.03% and 16.65% for 2021 third quarter
  • Increased dividend $0.01 to $0.28 per share, up 27% year to date

DEFIANCE, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premier Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: PFC) (“Premier” or the “Company”) today announced 2021 third quarter results. Net income for the third quarter of 2021 was $28.4 million, or $0.76 per diluted common share, compared to $25.7 million, or $0.69 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2020. The prior year’s results include the impact of $3.7 million of acquisition-related charges for the three months ended September 30, 2020, which had an after-tax cost of $2.9 million or $0.08 per diluted common share. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2021, was $100.7 million, or $2.70 per diluted common share, compared to $32.2 million, or $0.91 per diluted common share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2020. The nine-month year-over-year comparison is substantially impacted by the acquisition of United Community Financial Corp. (“UCFC”) on January 31, 2020, with the prior year’s provision expense of $51.0 million that included $25.9 million related to acquisition accounting for an after-tax cost of $20.5 million, or $0.58 per diluted common share. The nine months of 2021 included a provision recovery of $9.1 million, which had an after-tax benefit of $7.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted common share, and no acquisition impact. Additionally, the prior year’s nine-month results include the impact of $17.3 million of acquisition-related charges, which had an after-tax cost of $14.0 million, or $0.39 per diluted common share. Excluding the impact of the acquisition-related provision and charges, earnings for the first nine months of 2020 were $66.8 million, or $1.88 per diluted common share.

“We are very pleased to report our second consecutive quarter of strong loan growth at 5.1% annualized,” said Gary Small, President and CEO of Premier. “Core commercial, residential mortgage, and consumer each contributed over 4.4% for the period. Commercial and consumer new business pipelines are at their highest level for the year with businesses expressing labor constraints as more of a concern than supply chain challenges at this point. Household deposits remain elevated and consumer loan delinquency continues to track at all-time lows. Clients are well positioned as we head into the upcoming holiday season.”

Business client support efforts

As a part of the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration created the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) to provide small businesses with loans as a direct incentive to keep their workers on the payroll. Premier Bank actively participated in PPP for clients and made 2,880 loans for a total of $443.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2020. Total gross fees for these loans equaled $14.8 million. To date, Premier Bank has recognized $14.7 million as loan interest income, including $0.9 million and $8.5 million during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively. Additionally, a total of $433.3 million in loans have been extinguished to date, including $83.7 million and $376.9 million during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively.

Beginning in January 2021, Premier Bank participated in the second round of PPP lending and made 2,231 loans for a total of $193.6 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2021. Total gross fees for these loans were $7.8 million and Premier Bank has recognized $2.7 million and $3.2 million in loan interest income during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively. Additionally, a total of $59.6 million in loans have been extinguished to date, all during the three months ended September 30, 2021. Total PPP loans were $143.9 million at September 30, 2021.

Net interest income up compared to third quarter of 2020

Net interest income of $57.0 million in the third quarter of 2021 was up from $53.3 million in the third quarter of 2020. The increase over the prior year’s third quarter was attributable to growth in interest-earning assets, PPP fees and a 23 basis point decrease in average costs of funds. Net interest margin was 3.38% for the third quarter of 2021, up from 3.34% in the second quarter of 2021, but down from 3.45% in the third quarter of 2020. Yield on interest earning assets increased to 3.61% in the third quarter of 2021, up 2 basis points from 3.59% in the second quarter of 2021. The improvement from second quarter to third quarter was primarily due to $64.4 million of non-PPP loan growth (5.1% annualized). Total cost of funds decreased 2 basis points in the third quarter of 2021 to 0.24% from the second quarter of 2021, while the total cost of interest-bearing liabilities decreased 4 basis points to 0.32%. The 2021 third quarter results include the impact of acquisition marks and related accretion for the UCFC acquisition. Interest income includes $0.6 million of accretion and interest expense includes $0.3 million of accretion, which combined added 5 basis points of net interest margin. The third quarter results also include the impact of PPP loans. Interest income includes $2.9 million on average balances of $219.4 million, which increased net interest margin by 6 basis points. Excluding the impact of acquisition marks and PPP loans, net interest margin would be 3.27% for the third quarter of 2021 compared to 3.20% for the second quarter of 2021 and 3.41% for the third quarter of 2020.

“Net interest margin stabilized during the quarter with 3.27% core margin reflecting a 7 basis point improvement versus second quarter,” said Small. “We made progress on all fronts during the quarter with lower cost of funds, lower cost of interest bearing deposits, and higher yields. While some additional improvement in funding costs may contribute to net interest margin growth in the near term, our loan portfolio growth and efficient management of the securities portfolio will drive our net interest income performance longer term.”

Non-interest income down from third quarter of 2020

Premier’s non-interest income in the third quarter of 2021 was $18.3 million compared with $25.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Total mortgage banking income decreased to $6.2 million in the third quarter of 2021 from $12.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Mortgage gains decreased to $5.4 million in the third quarter of 2021 from $13.8 million in the third quarter of 2020 but increased from $2.7 million in the second quarter of 2021. Total mortgage loan production has been consistently strong compared to prior year, while gains have declined primarily due to compressed margins and less favorable marks on the in-process portfolio. The increase from the prior quarter was primarily due to the expected improvement in saleable mix. Mortgage loan servicing revenue of $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2021 was consistent with $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2020. Amortization of mortgage servicing rights decreased to $1.8 million in the third quarter of 2021 from $2.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Premier also had a positive change in the valuation adjustment for mortgage servicing assets of $0.8 million in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a negative adjustment of $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. This item closely follows the trend in USTN-10, which increased 7 basis points during the quarter to 1.52% at September 30, 2021.

For the third quarter of 2021, service fees and other charges were $6.1 million, up 26% from $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2020 primarily due to higher ATM and interchange related fees. This was mostly offset by a combined $1.0 million decrease in wealth management, insurance commissions and other income. Securities gains were $0.3 million in the third quarter of 2021 compared to a gain of $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2020, which included $1.4 million from a transaction completed to offset a $1.4 million FHLB prepayment penalty in other expenses noted below. BOLI income increased $0.1 million from the third quarter of 2020 primarily due to a $20 million premium purchase during the third quarter of 2021.

“Residential mortgage fee income returned to more typical levels in the third quarter and brought our year to date performance in line with our expectations for the year,” said Small. “Mortgage origination activity remained strong for the quarter with a better mix of salable production.”

Core non-interest expenses up from third quarter of 2020

Total non-interest expense was $39.0 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from $43.6 million in the third quarter of 2020, but up from $38.4 million excluding $3.7 million of acquisition related charges and $1.4 million FHLB prepayment penalty. Compensation and benefits increased to $23.4 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $20.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. Occupancy expense was $3.7 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from $4.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Data processing cost was $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from $4.3 million in the third quarter of 2020. Amortization of intangibles was $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. Other non-interest expense was $5.2 million in the third quarter of 2021, down from $7.1 million in the third quarter of 2020, or down from $5.7 million excluding $1.4 million of prepayment penalties from the early extinguishment of $30 million of fixed rate FHLB advances that had a weighted average rate of 2.0%.

Credit quality

Non-performing assets totaled $60.1 million, or 0.81% of assets, at September 30, 2021, an increase from $41.3 million at June 30, 2021, and an increase from $48.3 million at September 30, 2020. The increase during the third quarter was primarily due to a single commercial credit relationship. Accruing troubled debt restructured loans were $6.5 million at September 30, 2021, compared with $8.5 million at September 30, 2020. Loan delinquencies increased to $11.2 million, or 0.2% of loans, at September 30, 2021, from $9.9 million at June 30, 2021, but decreased from $20.9 million at September 30, 2020.

The 2021 third quarter results include net loan recoveries of $0.3 million and a total provision expense of $1.8 million compared with net loan charge-offs of $3.3 million and a total provision expense of $2.8 million for the same period in 2020. The allowance for credit losses on loans as a percentage of total loans was 1.39% at September 30, 2021, or 1.43% excluding PPP loans, compared with 1.33% at June 30, 2021, or 1.37% excluding PPP loans, and 1.63%, or 1.77% excluding PPP loans, at September 30, 2020. The continued economic improvement after the 2020 pandemic-related downturn led to the year-over-year decrease in the provision expense and allowance percentages. As of September 30, 2021, Premier Bank had no pandemic-related deferrals, down from one retail loan for $13,000 at June 30, 2021.

“The increase in provision expense and allowance percentages from the prior quarter was primarily due to the establishment of a specific reserve for a single non-performing commercial credit, partially offset by improvements in the remainder of the portfolio,” said Paul Nungester, CFO of Premier. “We are comfortable with an all-in reserve coverage level of 1.57% excluding PPP loans and including unamortized purchase accounting marks.”

Year to date results

For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021, net income totaled $100.7 million, or $2.70 per diluted common share, compared to $32.2 million, or $0.91 per diluted common share for the nine months ended September 30, 2020. Results for the 2020 period included eight months of income and expenses from UCFC compared to nine months in 2021. The year-over-year comparison is also substantially impacted by the prior year’s provision expense of $49.3 million, which included $25.9 million related to acquisition accounting for an after-tax cost of $20.5 million, or $0.58 per diluted common share. The 2021 period included a provision credit of $9.1 million, which had an after-tax benefit of $7.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted common share, and no acquisition impact. Additionally, the prior year’s results include the impact of $17.3 million of acquisition-related charges, which had an after-tax cost of $14.0 million, or $0.39 per diluted common share. Excluding the impact of acquisition-related provision and charges, earnings for the first nine months of 2020 were $66.8 million, or $1.88 per diluted common share.

Net interest income was $170.2 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared with $153.0 million in the first nine months of 2020. Average interest-earning assets increased to $6.7 billion in the first nine months of 2021 compared to $5.8 billion in the first nine months of 2020. Net interest margin for the first nine months of 2021 was 3.39%, down 15 basis points from the 3.54% margin reported in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020. Results include the impact of acquisition marks and related accretion for the UCFC acquisition. For the first nine months of 2021, interest income includes $3.2 million of accretion and interest expense includes $1.0 million of accretion, which combined added 9 basis points of net interest margin. The results in the first nine months of 2021 also include the impact of PPP loans. Interest income includes $11.9 million on average balances of $343.7 million, which increased net interest margin by 7 basis points. Excluding the impact of acquisition marks and PPP loans, net interest margin was 3.23% for the first nine months of 2021 compared to 3.44% for the first nine months of 2020.

Non-interest income for the first nine months of 2021 was $62.1 million compared to $62.0 million during the same period of 2020. Service fees and other charges were $17.8 million for the first nine months of 2021, up from $15.6 million during the same period of 2020. Mortgage banking income was $18.9 million for the first nine months of 2021, down from $22.8 million during the same period of 2020. Insurance commissions were $12.4 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared with $12.9 million for the same period of 2020. Wealth management income was $4.6 million for the first nine months of 2021, up from $4.4 million during the same period of 2020. Securities gains were $3.0 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared to $1.5 million for the same period in 2020. Approximately $2.2 million of the 2021 gain was related to the sale of securities where the Company took advantage of pricing to realize gains and reinvested in a mix of new securities that will generate the higher income over the next three years. The other $0.8 million was related to unrealized gains on our trading securities due to the improved market for these financial institution equities. BOLI income increased to $3.0 million in the first nine months of 2021, including $0.3 million of claim gains, compared to $2.5 million and no claim gains in the first nine months of 2020. Other non-interest income for the first nine months of 2021 was $2.4 million compared to $2.3 million in 2020.

Non-interest expense was $116.2 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared to $123.9 million, or $105.2 million excluding acquisition-related charges and FHLB prepayment penalties, for the same period of 2020. Compensation and benefits expense was $66.4 million for the first nine months of 2021 compared with $57.3 million during the same period of 2020. Expenses also included net decreases of $1.1 million for occupancy, FDIC insurance premiums, financial institution taxes, data processing and amortization of intangibles and an increase of $1.7 million for other expenses.

Total assets at $7.47 billion

Total assets at September 30, 2021, were $7.47 billion compared to $7.59 billion at June 30, 2021, and $6.97 billion at September 30, 2020. Gross loans receivable (including loans held for sale) were $5.45 billion at September 30, 2021, compared to $5.55 billion at June 30, 2021, and $5.68 billion at September 30, 2020. At September 30, 2021, gross loans receivable decreased $230.5 million from a year ago due to a $299.3 million decrease in PPP loans. Excluding PPP, loans grew $68.8 million organically, or 1.3% from a year ago. Commercial loans excluding PPP increased $88.2 million from September 30, 2020, to 2021, or 2.6%, despite a $23.3 million decrease in lines of credit. Securities at September 30, 2021, were $1.26 billion compared to $1.29 billion at June 30, 2021, and $579.2 million at September 30, 2020. Also, at September 30, 2021, goodwill and other intangible assets totaled $343.6 million compared to $345.1 million at June 30, 2021, and $350.0 million at September 30, 2020, with the decrease attributable to intangibles amortization.

Total deposits at September 30, 2021, were $6.25 billion compared with $6.29 billion at June 30, 2021, and $5.80 billion at September 30, 2020. At September 30, 2021, total deposits grew $452.9 million organically, or 7.8% from a year ago.

Total stockholders’ equity was $1.03 billion at September 30, 2021, compared to $1.03 billion at June 30, 2021, and $959.0 million at September 30, 2020. The increase in stockholders’ equity from the prior year was primarily due to net earnings. The Company also completed the repurchase of 206,285 common shares for $6.0 million during the third quarter of 2021. At September 30, 2021, 1,628,149 common shares remained available for repurchase under the Company’s existing authorization.

Dividend to be paid November 19

The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per common share payable November 19, 2021, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 12, 2021. The dividend represents an annual dividend of 3.44 percent based on the Premier common stock closing price on October 27, 2021. Premier has approximately 36,978,000 common shares outstanding.

Conference call

Premier will host a conference call at 11:00 a.m. ET on Friday, October 29, 2021, to discuss the earnings results and business trends. The conference call may be accessed by calling 1-877-444-1726. Internet access to the call is also available (in listen-only mode) at the following URL: https://services.choruscall.com/links/pfc211029.html. The replay of the conference call will be available at www.PremierFinCorp.com for one year.

About Premier Financial Corp.

Premier Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: PFC), headquartered in Defiance, Ohio, is the holding company for Premier Bank and First Insurance Group. Premier Bank, headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, operates 75 branches and 12 loan offices in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia (West Virginia office operates as Home Savings Bank) and serves clients through a team of wealth professionals dedicated to each community banking branch. First Insurance Group is a full-service insurance agency with ten offices in Ohio. For more information, visit the company’s website at PremierFinCorp.com.

Financial Statements and Highlights Follow-

Safe Harbor Statement

This document may contain certain 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, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding projections, forecasts, goals and plans of Premier Financial Corp. and its management, future movements of interests, loan or deposit production levels, future credit quality ratios, future strength in the market area, and growth projections. These statements do not describe historical or current facts and may be identified by words such as “intend,” “intent,” “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “target,” “plan,” “anticipate,” or similar words or phrases, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “might,” “may,” “can,” or similar verbs. There can be no assurances that the forward-looking statements included in this presentation will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties in the forward-looking statements, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by Premier or any other persons, that our objectives and plans will be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which could affect Premier’s business and financial results in future periods and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but not limited to: impacts from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the economy, financial markets, our customers, and our business and results of operation; changes in interest rates; disruptions in the mortgage market; risks and uncertainties inherent in general and local banking, insurance and mortgage conditions; political uncertainty; uncertainty in U.S. fiscal or monetary policy; uncertainty concerning or disruptions relating to tensions surrounding the current socioeconomic landscape; competitive factors specific to markets in which Premier operates; increasing competition for financial products from other financial institutions and nonbank financial technology companies; legislative or regulatory rulemaking or actions; capital market conditions; security breaches or unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer or Company information; interruptions in the effective operation of information and transaction processing systems of Premier or Premier’s vendors and service providers; failures or delays in integrating or adopting new technology; the impact of the cessation of LIBOR interest rates and implementation of a replacement rate; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, the Form 10-K/A filed September 28, 2021 and any further amendments thereto. All forward-looking statements made in this presentation are based on information presently available to the management of Premier and speak only as of the date on which they are made. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.


Contacts

Paul Nungester
EVP and CFO
419.785.8700
PNungester@yourpremierbank.com


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