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PEAPACK-GLADSTONE FINANCIAL CORPORATION REPORTS ANOTHER STRONG QUARTER
Bedminster, N.J. – April 28, 2015 – Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market:PGC) (the “Corporation” or the “Company”) recorded net income of $5.01 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.33 for the three months ended March 31, 2015, compared to $3.03 million and $0.26, respectively, for the same three month period last year, reflecting increases of 65 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
The following table summarizes earnings for the quarters ended:
(Dollars in millions, except EPS)
|Pretax income||$8.35||$4.90||$3.45 70%|
|Net income||$5.01||$3.03||$1.98 65%|
|Total Revenue||$25.47||$20.57||$4.90 24%|
|Return on average assets||0.71%||0.59%||0.12|
|Return on average equity||8.13%||7.01%||1.12|
(a) The quarter ended March 2015 included income of $260 thousand pretax related to a life insurance death benefit under its Bank Owned Life Insurance policies.
Doug Kennedy, President and CEO, said, “During the quarter we continued to focus on our Growth Strategy – Expanding Our Reach. Our continued growth and continued strong results this quarter demonstrate that our strategy is delivering positive operating leverage.”
Q1 2015 highlights follow:
- The Company successfully began leveraging the capital raised in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Company believes it has ample capital to support its continued growth and expansion.
- Earnings and performance ratios for the first quarter of 2015 reflected improvement when compared to the first quarter of 2014’s results (as reflected just above). Year over year growth in diluted earnings per share was 27 percent.
- Loans at March 31, 2015 totaled $2.44 billion. This reflected growth of $679 million when compared to $1.76 billion at March 31, 2014. Year over year loan growth was 38 percent.
- Asset quality metrics continued to be strong at March 31, 2015. Nonperforming assets at March 31, 2015 were just $7.4 million or 0.26 percent of total assets. Total loans past due 30 through 89 days were only $2.48 million at March 31, 2015.
- During the first quarter of 2015, Commercial & Industrial (C&I) loan closings totaled $41 million. The C&I loan pipeline continues to be robust.
- In February 2015, Eric H. Waser joined the Company as the Head of Commercial Banking. Eric is a seasoned banker with over 25 years “big-bank” experience.
- Total “customer” deposit balances (defined as deposits excluding brokered CDs and brokered “overnight” interest-bearing demand deposits) grew to $2.15 billion at March 31, 2015 from $1.69 billion at March 31, 2014. Year over year customer deposit growth totaled 27 percent.
- The Company’s net interest income for the first quarter of 2015 was $ 19.58 million. This reflected improvement when compared to $15.57 million for the first quarter of 2014. Year over year growth in net interest income was 26 percent.
- At March 31, 2015, the market value of assets under administration at the Private Wealth Management Division of Peapack-Gladstone Bank (“the Bank”) was just north of $3 billion. And, when adjusted on a pro forma basis for the acquisition of Wealth Management Consultants, would be just shy of $3.5 billion.
- Fee income from the Private Wealth Management Division totaled $4.03 million for the first quarter of 2015, growing from $3.75 million for the first quarter of 2014. Year over year growth in wealth management fee income was 7 percent.
- The book value per share at March 31, 2015 of $16.61 reflected improvement when compared to $15.08 at March 31, 2014. Year-over-year growth in book value per share totaled 10 percent.
Net Interest Income/Net Interest Margin
Net interest income was $19.58 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $15.57 million for the same quarter last year, reflecting growth of $4.01 million or 26 percent when compared to the prior year period. Net interest income for the first quarter of 2015 benefitted from significant loan growth during 2014, as well as during the first quarter of 2015. Additionally, interest income in the current quarter was benefitted by approximately $444 thousand of prepayment premiums received on the prepayment of certain multifamily loans. While no one can predict the timing or amount of prepayment premiums, given the size and seasoning of the Company’s multifamily loan portfolio, it is anticipated that additional prepayment premiums may be recognized in the future.
While net interest income for the first quarter of 2015 improved compared to prior periods, the net interest margin, on a fully tax-equivalent basis, was 2.88 percent for the March 2015 quarter compared to 3.18 percent for the March 2014 quarter. A portion of the decline in net interest margin for the March 2015 quarter was due to the maintenance of much larger average interest earning deposit/cash balances - $91.7 million average for the March 2015 quarter, compared to $31.7 million for the March 2014 quarter. Mr. Kennedy said, “As noted previously, given our rapid growth, we had decided to maintain greater liquidity on our balance sheet.”
In addition to the maintenance of larger interest bearing deposit/cash balances for much of the quarter, net interest margin also continued to be impacted by the effect of low market yields, as well as competitive pressures in attracting new loans and deposits. The Company expects continued high liquidity levels and also expects continued loan growth in this lower market rate and competitive environment.
Total loan originations were $347 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to $302 million for the December 2014 quarter and $282 million for the March 2014 quarter. At March 31, 2015, loans totaled $2.44 billion as compared to $2.25 billion three months ago at December 31, 2014 and compared to $1.76 billion one year ago at March 31, 2014, representing increases of $192 million or 9 percent and $679 million or 38 percent, respectively.
The multifamily and commercial mortgage loan portfolio grew $490 million or 46 percent when comparing the March 31, 2015 balance to the March 31, 2014 balance. The increase was net of participations sold of $51 million in the current March 2015 quarter and $61 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2014. The net increase was attributable to: the addition of seasoned banking professionals over the course of 2014; continued attention to the client service aspect of the lending process; an expansion of New Jersey-based real estate marketing activities; and a focus on the Boroughs of New York City multifamily markets beginning in mid-2013. The increase was also due to demand from borrowers looking to refinance multifamily and other commercial mortgages held by other institutions.
Mr. Kennedy said, “As explained previously, analysis showed that multifamily lending could be grown quickly and had strong credit metrics and provided solid risk-adjusted returns. Loan originations in this asset class have been robust as we built our C&I (Commercial & Industrial) lending capabilities, as part of our Strategic Plan. Going forward, multifamily lending, and related participations, will remain a focus of the Company. However, given our pipeline, and with the C&I lending program more seasoned, including the addition in 2014 of four seasoned bankers focused on C&I lending and the addition of a seasoned Head of Commercial Banking in February 2015, we anticipate that our C&I loan portfolio will continue to grow at an increased trajectory.”
The Company closed $41 million of commercial loans for the three months ended March 31, 2015, and closed $267 million for the twelve months ended March 31, 2015. At March 31, 2015, commercial loans totaled $336 million, more than double the $143 million one year ago at March 31, 2014.
Deposits / Funding / Balance Sheet Management
Loan growth of $192 million and increased interest earning/cash balances of $42 million in the March 2015 quarter, compared to the December 2014 quarter, were funded by customer deposit growth of $174 million, investment securities principal reductions and sales of $57 million, and capital growth of $7 million. Additional brokered interest-bearing demand (“overnight”) deposits were used to fully pay down higher costing overnight borrowings.
Brokered interest-bearing demand (“overnight”) deposits continue to be maintained as an additional source of liquidity. At a cost of approximately 25 basis points, such deposits are generally a more cost effective alternative than other borrowings and do not require pledging of collateral, as wholesale borrowings do. These deposits increased to $263 million at March 31, 2015. The Company does ensure ample available collateralized liquidity as a backup to these short term brokered deposits.
Certificates of deposit have also been utilized more extensively in 2015 compared to prior periods. The majority of these deposits have been longer term and have generally been transacted as part of the Company’s interest rate risk management. These certificates of deposit are also a more cost effective alternative than other borrowings and also do not require pledging of collateral. Also as part of its interest rate risk management, during the March 2015 quarter, the Company transacted several pay fixed, receive floating interest rate swaps totaling $75 million notional amount.
Mr. Kennedy went on to say, “As noted previously the March 2015 quarter and the June 2014 quarter included multifamily loan participations. These participations were part of the Company’s balance sheet management strategy and will likely continue in 2015.”
Mr. Kennedy further noted, “The Company will continue to place an intense focus on providing high touch client service and growing its core deposit base. Our full array of treasury management products will help support both core deposit growth and commercial lending opportunities. Our bankers have robust pipelines of client deposits.”
Wealth Management Business
In the March 2015 quarter, Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s wealth management business generated $4.03 million in fee income compared to $3.75 million for the March 2014 quarter, reflecting a 7 percent increase. The market value of the assets under administration (AUA) of the wealth management division was $3.05 billion at March 31, 2015, up approximately 11 percent from $2.75 billion at March 31, 2014. The growth in fee income and AUA was due to a combination of new business and market value improvement.
John P. Babcock, President of Private Wealth Management, noted, “We continue to incorporate wealth into every conversation we have with all of the Company’s clients, across all business lines. We have expanded our wealth management team and will continue to grow our team and expand the products, services, and advice we deliver to our clients.”
The Company previously announced it expects to close the acquisition of Wealth Management Consultants (NJ), LLC in early May. Mr. Babcock further noted, “We are excited to join forces with Tom Ross and his Company. The acquisition is consistent with our building our advice led wealth business and Tom and his team will add depth to our already high-caliber wealth management team.”
Other Noninterest Income
Service charges and fees for the March 2015 quarter were $805 thousand, compared to $694 thousand for the March 2014 quarter. Several categories reflected slight improvement in the quarter, including increased income associated with a new set of checking products put in place during the summer months.
Bank owned life insurance (BOLI) income of $537 thousand for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $271 thousand higher when compared to the $266 thousand for the same quarter last year. The 2015 quarter included $260 thousand additional income related to a net life insurance death benefit under its BOLI policies.
The March 2015 quarter included $148 thousand of income from the sale of newly originated residential mortgage loans, up from $112 thousand in the same 2014 quarter. Loans originated for sale were slightly greater in the 2015 period compared to the 2014 period.
Securities gains were $268 thousand for the March 2015 quarter compared to $98 thousand for the March 2014 quarter. Sales of securities have been generally employed to benefit interest rate risk, prepayment risk, and/or liquidity risk. Given the interest rate environment, as well as the outlook, in the 2015 period, such strategy was employed more often than in the 2014 period.
Other income of $93 thousand for the March 2015 quarter was $22 thousand higher than the March 2014 quarter.
The Company’s total operating expenses were $15.77 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 compared to $14.34 million in the same 2014 quarter, reflecting a net increase of $1.43 million.
Salary and benefits expense increased in the March 2015 quarter when compared to the same quarter last year due to strategic hiring in line with the Company’s Strategic Plan. Additionally, normal salary increases and increased bonus/incentive accruals associated with the Company’s growth contributed to the increase.
Premises and equipment expense and FDIC insurance expense for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 increased when compared to the same quarter last year. The increases were consistent with the Company’s continued growth.
Other expenses for the March 2015 quarter increased when compared to the March 2014 quarter. The current 2015 period included: increased wealth management division expenses due to growth in the business and increased advertising/marketing expenses. The 2015 period also included $222 thousand of professional fee expenses associated with the Wealth Management Consultants acquisition, as well as other special projects completed in the quarter.
Mr. Kennedy noted, “As I have noted previously, expense increases were planned and expected, and continue to track to our Plan. We expect that the trend of higher operating expenses will continue into 2015, as we bring on high caliber revenue producers, and continue to invest in our infrastructure, in line with our Plan. Further, we generally expect revenue and profitability related to new revenue producers to lag those expenses by several quarters. It is important to note, however, that revenue growth has outpaced expense growth considerably, which has caused our Efficiency Ratio to decline to approximately 63 percent for the current quarter.”
Provision for Loan Losses/Asset Quality
For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, the Company’s provision for loan losses was $1.35 million, compared to $1.33 million for the March 2014 quarter. Charge-offs, net of recoveries, for the first quarter of 2015 year were only $14 thousand.
At March 31, 2015 the allowance for loan losses was 329 percent of nonperforming loans and 0.85 percent of total loans.
The Company’s provision for loan losses and net increase in its allowance for loan losses continue to track well with the Company’s net loan growth and asset quality metrics.
Nonperforming assets at March 31, 2015 were just $7.4 million or 0.26 percent of total assets, compared to $9.5 million or 0.42 percent at March 31, 2014. Total loans past due 30 through 89 days were only $2.48 million at March 31, 2015.
Capital in the March 2015 quarter was benefitted by net income of $5.0 million and by $2.2 million of voluntary share purchases in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
At March 31, 2015, the Company’s leverage, common equity tier 1, tier 1 and total risk based capital ratios were 8.80 percent, 13.57 percent, 13.57 percent and 14.71 percent, respectively. The Company’s ratios are all above the respective
5 percent, 6.5 percent, 8 percent, and 10 percent levels required to be considered well capitalized under regulatory guidelines applicable to banks.
As previously announced, on April 23, 2015, the Board of Directors declared a regular cash dividend of $0.05 per share payable on May 22, 2015 to shareholders of record on May 8, 2015.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation is a New Jersey bank holding company with total assets of $2.88 billion as of March 31, 2015. Founded in 1921, Peapack-Gladstone Bank is a commercial bank that provides innovative private banking services to businesses, non-profits and consumers, which help them to establish, maintain and expand their legacy. Through its private banking locations in Bedminster, Morristown, Princeton and Teaneck, its wealth management division, and its branch network and online platforms, Peapack-Gladstone Bank offers an unparalleled commitment to client service.
Jeffery J. Carfora
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation
The foregoing contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not historical facts and include expressions about management’s confidence and strategies and management’s expectations about new and existing programs and products, investments, relationships, opportunities and market conditions. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “expect”, “look”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “may”, or similar statements or variations of such terms. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to
- inability to successfully grow our business and implement our strategic plan, including an inability to generate revenues to offset the increased personnel and other costs related to the strategic plan;
- inability to manage our growth;
- inability to successfully integrate our expanded employee base;
- a continued or unexpected decline in the economy, in particular in our New Jersey and New York market areas;
- declines in our net interest margin caused by the low interest rate environment and highly competitive market;
- declines in value in our investment portfolio;
- higher than expected increases in our allowance for loan losses;
- higher than expected increases in loan losses or in the level of nonperforming loans;
- unexpected changes in interest rates;
- a continued or unexpected decline in real estate values within our market areas;
- legislative and regulatory actions (including the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Basel III and related regulations) subject us to additional regulatory oversight which may result in increased compliance costs;
- successful cyber attacks against our IT infrastructure and that of our IT providers;
- higher than expected FDIC insurance premiums;
- adverse weather conditions;
- inability to successfully generate new business in new geographic markets;
- inability to execute upon new business initiatives;
- lack of liquidity to fund our various cash obligations;
- reduction in our lower-cost funding sources;
- our inability to adapt to technological changes;
- claims and litigation pertaining to fiduciary responsibility, environmental laws and other matters; and
- other unexpected material adverse changes in our operations or earnings.
A discussion of these and other factors that could affect our results is included in our SEC filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. We undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the Corporation’s expectations.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.