Sandy Spring Bancorp Reports Net Income of $12.8 Million for the Fourth Quarter and $45.4 Million for the Full Year
OLNEY, Md., Jan. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., (Nasdaq:SASR) the parent company of Sandy Spring Bank, today reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2015 of $12.8 million ($0.52 per diluted share) compared to net income of $9.1 million ($0.36 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter of 2014 and net income of $11.0 million ($0.45 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2015.
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2015, was $45.4 million ($1.84 per diluted share) compared to net income of $38.2 million ($1.52 per diluted share) for the prior year. The fourth quarter of the current year includes the recapture of $4.5 million in previously accrued litigation expenses due to the settlement of all claims that were the subject of an adverse jury verdict rendered in 2014.
“Our continued strong core performance was driven by higher net interest income. Building on the first three quarters of the year, loan growth continued steadily at a double-digit year-over-year rate in a very competitive marketplace,” said Daniel J. Schrider, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Our stable net interest margin, strong capital position and consistent credit quality are the drivers that provide an ongoing competitive return on our shareholders’ investment,” said Schrider. “We continue to focus on providing our customers with outstanding levels of service across the organization.”
Fourth Quarter Highlights:
- Total loans increased 12% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 and were up 2% compared to the third quarter of 2015. All three major portfolio segments experienced strong growth over the prior year. These increases were driven primarily by year-over-year growth of 15% in the commercial loan portfolio.
- Combined noninterest-bearing and interest-bearing checking account balances increased 3% to $1.6 billion at December 31, 2015 as compared to $1.5 billion at December 31, 2014.
- The provision for loan and lease losses for the fourth quarter of 2015 was a charge of $1.9 million compared to a charge of $0.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and a charge of $1.7 million for the third quarter of 2015. The provision was driven by our solid loan growth.
- The net interest margin was 3.45% for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to 3.44% for the fourth quarter of 2014 and 3.43% for the third quarter of 2015.
- The non-GAAP efficiency ratio improved to 63.08% for the current quarter from 65.89% for the prior year quarter due primarily to the recapture of $4.5 million of previously accrued litigation expenses. This credit was somewhat offset by a charitable contribution of $1 million to the Sandy Spring Bank Foundation in the quarter.
- During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company repurchased 141,518 shares of its common stock at an average price of $26.53 per share as part of its existing share repurchase program. For the year-to-date, the Company repurchased 870,450 shares at an average price of $25.99 per share.
Review of Balance Sheet and Credit Quality
Total assets grew 6% to $4.7 billion at December 31, 2015 compared to $4.4 billion at December 31, 2014. This growth was driven by a 12% increase in the loan portfolio as total loans and leases ended the period at $3.5 billion.
At December 31, 2015, combined noninterest-bearing and interest-bearing checking account balances, a primary driver of multiple-product banking relationships with clients, increased 3% compared to balances at December 31, 2014. Total deposits and certain other short-term borrowings that comprise the funding sources derived from customers increased 7% compared to December 31, 2014.
Tangible common equity totaled $441 million at December 31, 2015 compared to $438 million at December 31, 2014. The ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets decreased to 9.66% at December 31, 2015 from 10.15% at December 31, 2014 due primarily to the growth in assets and continued share repurchases. Dividends per common share increased to $0.24 per share in the fourth quarter and totaled $0.90 per common share for the year compared to $0.76 per common share for 2014, an 18% increase. At December 31, 2015, the Company had a total risk-based capital ratio of 14.25%, a common equity tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.17%, a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 13.13% and a tier 1 leverage ratio of 10.60%.
Non-performing loans totaled $34.5 million at December 31, 2015 compared to $34.0 million at December 31, 2014 and $36.9 million at September 30, 2015. The level of non-performing loans to total loans decreased to 0.99% at December 31, 2015 compared to 1.09% at December 31, 2014 due to growth in the overall loan portfolio.
Loan charge-offs, net of recoveries, totaled $0.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to net loan charge-offs of $0.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. The allowance for loan and lease losses represented 1.17% of outstanding loans and leases and 119% of non-performing loans at December 31, 2015 compared to 1.21% of outstanding loans and leases and 111% of non-performing loans at December 31, 2014. Non-performing loans includes accruing loans 90 days or more past due and restructured loans.
Income Statement Review
Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2015 increased 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The net interest margin was 3.45% for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 3.44% for the fourth quarter of 2014. This increase was driven by loan growth together with stable funding sources.
The provision for loan and lease losses was a charge of $1.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to a charge of $0.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2014 and a charge of $1.7 million for the third quarter of 2015. The majority of the current quarter’s charge reflects the growth in the loan portfolio.
Non-interest income increased 8% to $12.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to $11.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. The increase in non-interest income for the quarter compared to the prior year quarter was due primarily to an increase in other non-interest income due to an increase in loan prepayment fees and a full payoff received on a loan previously acquired at a significant discount.
Non-interest expenses decreased to $27.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to $30.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The current quarter included a $4.5 million recapture of litigation expenses previously accrued in prior periods. As previously noted, the quarter also included a charitable contribution of $1 million to the Sandy Spring Bank Foundation. Excluding these transactions, total non-interest expenses remained virtually level compared to 2014 as increases in salaries and benefits were offset by declines in occupancy expenses and EFT losses. The non-GAAP efficiency ratio was 63.08% for the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 65.89% for the fourth quarter of 2014.
Net interest income for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased 7% compared to 2014 due primarily to an increase in average loans. The net interest margin was 3.44% for 2015 compared to 3.45% for 2014. As mentioned above, this increase was due primarily to a combination of loan growth and stable funding sources.
The provision for loan and lease losses was a charge of $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to a credit of $0.2 million for 2014. The change in the provision for the current year is primarily due to the growth in the loan portfolio over the prior year.
Non-interest income increased 6% to $49.9 million for 2015 compared to $46.9 million for 2014. This increase was driven by increases in income from wealth management due to growth in assets under management and income from mortgage banking due primarily to higher mortgage origination volumes. Other non-interest income also increased due to higher gains on sales of SBA loans and an increase in loan prepayment fees.
Non-interest expenses decreased 5% to $115.3 million for 2015 compared to $120.8 million for 2014. Excluding the accrued litigation expenses in 2014 and the subsequent recapture in 2015 together with the charitable contribution mentioned above, non-interest expenses increased 3% over the prior year. The current year also included increases in salaries, pension costs and health benefits and other non-interest expenses. The non-GAAP efficiency ratio was 61.09% for 2015 compared to 62.48% for 2014.
The Company’s management will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter results today at 2:00 P.M. (ET). A live Web cast of the conference call is available through the Investor Relations’ section of the Sandy Spring Web site at www.sandyspringbank.com. Participants may call 1-866-235-9910. A password is not necessary. Visitors to the Web site are advised to log on 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled start of the call. An internet-based replay will be available at the Web site until 9:00 am (ET) February 5, 2016. A replay of the teleconference will be available through the same time period by calling 1-877-344-7529 under conference call number 10078286.
About Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc.
Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Olney, Maryland, is the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank. Independent and community-oriented, Sandy Spring Bank offers a broad range of commercial banking, retail banking, mortgage and trust services throughout central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the greater Washington, D.C. market. Through its subsidiaries, Sandy Spring Insurance Corporation and West Financial Services, Inc., Sandy Spring Bank also offers a comprehensive menu of insurance and wealth management services. With $4.7 billion in assets, the bank operates 44 community offices and six financial centers across the region. Visit www.sandyspringbank.com for more information.
Sandy Spring Bancorp makes forward-looking statements in this news release and in the conference call regarding this news release. These forward-looking statements may include: statements of goals, intentions, earnings expectations, and other expectations; estimates of risks and of future costs and benefits; assessments of probable loan and lease losses; assessments of market risk; and statements of the ability to achieve financial and other goals.
Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “outlook,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project” and other similar words and expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Sandy Spring Bancorp does not assume any duty and does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Because forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions and uncertainties, actual results or future events could differ, possibly materially, from those that Sandy Spring Bancorp anticipated in its forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from historical performance.
Sandy Spring Bancorp’s forward-looking statements are subject to the following principal risks and uncertainties: general economic conditions and trends, either nationally or locally; conditions in the securities markets; changes in interest rates; changes in deposit flows, and in the demand for deposit, loan, and investment products and other financial services; changes in real estate values; changes in the quality or composition of the Company’s loan or investment portfolios; changes in competitive pressures among financial institutions or from non-financial institutions; the Company’s ability to retain key members of management; changes in legislation, regulations, and policies; and a variety of other matters which, by their nature, are subject to significant uncertainties. Sandy Spring Bancorp provides greater detail regarding some of these factors in its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, including in the Risk Factors section of that report, and in its other SEC reports. Sandy Spring Bancorp’s forward-looking statements may also be subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those that it may discuss elsewhere in this news release or in its filings with the SEC, accessible on the SEC’s Web site at www.sec.gov.
Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiaries
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS - UNAUDITED