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 January 25, 2016 - 4:10 PM EST
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Zions Bancorporation Reports Fourth Quarter And Annual 2015 Financial Results

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION) ("Zions" or "the Company") today reported net earnings applicable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2015 of $88.2 million, or $0.43 per diluted common share, compared to net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $84.2 million, or $0.41 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2015 and $66.8 million, or $0.33 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2014.

Annual net earnings applicable to common shareholders for 2015 was $246.6 million, or $1.20 per diluted common share, compared to $326.6 million, or $1.68 per diluted common share, for 2014. During the second quarter of 2015, the Company sold the remaining portfolio of its collateralized debt obligation ("CDO") securities and recognized a one-time pretax loss of approximately $137 million, or $0.42 after-tax per diluted common share. Excluding the loss, net earnings applicable to common shareholders for 2015 was $331.5 million, or $1.62 per diluted common share.

The following is an abbreviated version of the 2015 fourth quarter and annual earnings release.  For the full version, including financial tables, please visit zionsbancorporation.com.

Fourth Quarter 2015 Highlights

  • The net interest margin increased to 3.23% from 3.11% in the prior quarter, while net interest income increased to $449 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 from $425 million in the third quarter of 2015. Adjusted for recoveries of interest income, the net interest margin was 3.18% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in net interest margin was primarily driven by a change in the mix of interest-earning assets and the maturity of high cost long-term debt. The mix of interest-earning assets changed as cash held in money market investments was transitioned to term investment securities.
  • The Company achieved positive operating leverage in the fourth quarter and met its goals to keep adjusted noninterest expense below $1.6 billion for the year and the efficiency ratio less than 70% during the second half of 2015. Total adjusted noninterest expense was $403 million during the fourth quarter of 2015 and $1,581 million for 2015. The Company's efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 69.8% compared to 69.3% in the third quarter of 2015, resulting in an efficiency ratio of 69.6% for the second half of 2015. The Company is committed to maintaining adjusted noninterest expense below $1.6 billion and achieving an efficiency ratio of less than 66% in 2016. Details of the adjusted noninterest expense and efficiency ratio calculation can be found later in this press release.
  • Credit quality remained in line with expectations, with deterioration in energy-related loans and continued strength in other loans. When compared to the prior quarter, classified loans increased 3%, nonperforming assets declined 4%, and the allowance for credit losses increased slightly due to energy-related loans. The Company recorded a provision for loan losses of $22.7 million, primarily related to the energy portfolio, during the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to $18.3 million during the third quarter of 2015. Excluding energy-related loans, the Company experienced a net recovery of $11 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a net charge-off of $14 million in the third quarter of 2015.
  • Net charge-offs for energy-related loans were $24 million during the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to $17 million during the third quarter of 2015. The Company increased the allowance for credit losses on its energy portfolio to greater than 5% of oil and gas-related loans due to the duration and amount of the decline in energy prices.
  • Excluding the strategic reduction in energy-related loans, net loans and leases increased $728 million, or 2.0% (8.0% on an annualized basis based on fourth quarter growth) during the quarter, compared to $176 million during the prior quarter calculated on the same basis.
  • The Company successfully completed the merger of its seven subsidiary banks to a single national bank charter on December 31, 2015.

Harris H. Simmons, Chairman and CEO of Zions Bancorporation, stated, "We were encouraged with the relatively strong improvement in net interest income, and when combined with the expected benefit from the December interest rate increase, we expect to see continued expansion in the net interest margin in 2016. Despite some headwinds in loan growth, particularly due to energy-related loan reductions, we experienced improvement in loan growth in the fourth quarter relative to the prior quarter." Mr. Simmons continued, "Credit quality trends, when taken as a whole, remain strong and Zions' credit performance ratios are among the strongest in the industry. As expected, credit quality for the energy portfolio deteriorated, although we are pleased with the relatively limited energy net charge-offs during the quarter, and the relatively strong pay-downs and payoffs of energy-related loans in the quarter. We boosted the reserve level in the fourth quarter due to the recent additional weakness in energy commodity prices, but we expect that our loan losses from this portfolio should be manageable." Mr. Simmons concluded, "Finally, we are encouraged with the successful achievement of our financial goals for the second half of 2015 announced in early June, and expect to continue to make progress toward achieving our 2016 and 2017 targets. In addition to achieving our expense goals, during 2015 we substantially strengthened our balance sheet through the liquidation of our remaining CDO portfolio, completed the consolidation of our bank charters as part of an effort to simplify our structure, and made strong progress on technology initiatives that will provide us with a modern, streamlined and fully integrated core operating platform."

Supplemental Presentation and Conference Call
Zions has posted a supplemental presentation to its website, which will be used to discuss these fourth quarter results at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon (January 25, 2016). Media representatives, analysts, investors, and the public are invited to join this discussion by calling 253-237-1247 (domestic and international) and entering the passcode 19851960, or via on-demand webcast. A link to the webcast will be available on the Zions Bancorporation website at zionsbancorporation.com. The webcast of the conference call will also be archived and available for 30 days.

About Zions Bancorporation
Zions Bancorporation is one of the nation's premier financial services companies with total assets of approximately $60 billion. Zions operates under local management teams and unique brands in 11 western and southwestern states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The company is a national leader in Small Business Administration lending and public finance advisory services, and is a consistent top recipient of numerous Greenwich Excellence awards in banking. In addition, Zions is included in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Financial 100 indices. Investor information and links to local banking brands can be accessed at zionsbancorporation.com.

Forward-Looking Information
Statements in this press release that are based on other than historical data or that express the Company's expectations regarding future events or determinations are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements based on historical data are not intended and should not be understood to indicate the Company's expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations or forecasts or intentions regarding future events or determinations. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or determinations, nor should they be relied upon as representing management's views as of any subsequent date. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those presented, either expressed or implied, in this press release. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include the actual amount and duration of declines in the price of oil and gas, our ability to meet our efficiency and noninterest expense goals, as well as other factors discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and available at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov).

Except as required by law, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any factors or to publicly announce the result of revisions to any of the forward-looking statements included herein to reflect future events or developments.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

(Unaudited)



Three Months Ended

(In thousands, except share, per share, and ratio data)

December 31,
 2015


September 30,
 2015


June 30,
 2015


March 31,
 2015


December 31,
 2014

BALANCE SHEET










Loans and leases, net of allowance

$

40,043,494


$

39,516,683


$

39,414,609


$

39,560,101


$

39,458,995

Total assets

59,669,525


58,410,927


58,365,459


57,555,931


57,208,874

Deposits

50,374,091


48,920,147


48,937,124


48,123,360


47,848,075

Total shareholders' equity

7,507,519


7,638,095


7,530,175


7,454,298


7,369,530











STATEMENT OF INCOME










Net interest income

$

448,833


$

425,377


$

423,704


$

417,346


$

430,430

Taxable-equivalent net interest income

453,780


429,782


428,015


421,581


434,789

Provision for loan losses

22,701


18,262


566


(1,494)


11,587

Total noninterest income

124,064


130,813


421


121,822


129,396

Total noninterest expense

402,776


396,149


404,100


397,461


422,666

Net earnings (loss) applicable to common shareholders

88,197


84,238


(1,100)


75,279


66,761











PER COMMON SHARE










Net earnings (loss) per diluted common share

$

0.43


$

0.41


$

(0.01)


$

0.37


$

0.33

Dividends

0.06


0.06


0.06


0.04


0.04

Book value per common share1

32.67


32.47


32.03


31.74


31.35

Tangible book value per common share1

27.63


27.42


26.95


26.64


26.23











SELECTED RATIOS










Return on average assets

0.68%


0.69%


0.10%


0.66%


0.57%

Return on average common equity

5.17%


5.02%


(0.07)%


4.77%


4.06%

Tangible return on average tangible common equity

6.20%


6.05%


0.03%


5.80%


4.95%

Net interest margin

3.23%


3.11%


3.18%


3.22%


3.25%

Efficiency ratio

69.8%


69.3%


71.4%


72.1%


74.1%

Effective tax rate

30.5%


28.8%


28.3%


35.7%


34.8%

Ratio of nonperforming assets to loans and leases and other real estate owned

0.87%


0.92%


0.96%


0.99%


0.81%

Annualized ratio of net loan and lease charge-offs to average loans

0.13%


0.31%


0.11%


(0.17)%


0.17%

Ratio of total allowance for credit losses to loans and leases outstanding1

1.68%


1.69%


1.72%


1.75%


1.71%











Capital Ratios 1










Tangible common equity ratio

9.63%


9.76%


9.58%


9.58%


9.48%

Basel III: 2










Common equity tier 1 capital

12.20%


12.16%


12.00%


11.76%



Tier 1 leverage

11.26%


11.63%


11.65%


11.75%



Tier 1 risk-based capital

14.06%


14.41%


14.26%


13.93%



Total risk-based capital

16.10%


16.46%


16.32%


15.97%



Basel I:










Tier 1 common equity









11.92%

Tier 1 leverage









11.82%

Tier 1 risk-based capital









14.47%

Total risk-based capital









16.27%











Weighted average common and common-equivalent shares outstanding

204,276,930


204,154,880


202,887,762


202,944,209


203,277,500

Common shares outstanding1

204,417,093


204,278,594


203,740,914


203,192,991


203,014,903


1 At period end.


2 Basel III capital ratios became effective January 1, 2015 and are based on a 2015 phase-in.

 

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zions-bancorporation-reports-fourth-quarter-and-annual-2015-financial-results-300209121.html

SOURCE Zions Bancorporation


Source: PR Newswire (January 25, 2016 - 4:10 PM EST)

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