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South Plains Financial, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2020 Financial Results


South Plains Financi

iCrowdNewswire   Jan 28, 2021  11:11 AM ET

 South Plains Financial, Inc., the parent company of City Bank (“City Bank” or the “Bank”), today reported its financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights

Full Year 2020 Highlights

Curtis Griffith, South Plains’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “While this past year presented our Company with unprecedented challenges as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I could not be more pleased with the performance of our employees and their commitment to both the Bank and our customers. Our strong financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 would not have been possible without their tireless efforts. We continue to weather the economic storm caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ended the year in a strong financial position highlighted by our well-capitalized balance sheet and the improving credit metrics of our loan portfolio. This can be seen in our active loan modifications, which were 2.9% of our total portfolio at December 31, 2020, which is a decline from 5.4% at September 30, 2020. We believe our proactive approach to managing our credit combined with our Enterprise Risk Management system has enabled our team to effectively manage a difficult environment and positioned the Company to take advantage of opportunities in the year ahead as we strive to grow the Bank both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

Mr. Griffith continued, “Looking at our results in more detail, we delivered pre-tax, pre-provision income of $20.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing 46% growth as compared to $13.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. We also grew book value per share to $20.47 at December 31, 2020, a rise of 21% as compared to book value per share of $16.98 at December 31, 2019. Importantly, we are delivering this growth while maintaining a strict discipline on expenses as can be seen in our efficiency ratio, which was 64.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to 69.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Additionally, our annualized return on average assets increased to 1.76% in the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to 1.32% in the fourth quarter of 2019. A clear focus of our team has been to scale the Bank while delivering returns in line or better to our peer group over time. While we have more work to do in order to achieve our goal, I am very pleased with the progress that our team achieved this past year.”

Results of Operations, Quarter Ended December 31, 2020

Net Interest Income

Net interest income was $30.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $28.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $31.3 million for the third quarter of 2020.

Interest income was $34.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $34.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $34.5 million for the third quarter of 2020. Interest and fees on loans decreased by $429,000 from the fourth quarter of 2019 due to a decrease of 68 basis points in loan rates as a result of the decline in the interest rate environment experienced in the first quarter of 2020, partially offset by growth of $256.7 million in average loans, primarily from the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans that were originated largely in the second quarter of 2020. Interest income decreased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the third quarter of 2020 due to a decline of 17 basis points in non-PPP loan rates and a decline of $55.9 million in average loans, partially offset by the additional interest and fees on PPP loans. The PPP loans yielded 5.02% during the fourth quarter of 2020, which includes accretion of the related SBA lender fees for processing PPP loans during the quarter. As of December 31, 2020, the Company has originated approximately 2,100 PPP loans, totaling $218 million, and has received $7.8 million in PPP related SBA fees. These fees are deferred and then accreted into interest income over the life of the applicable loans. During the fourth quarter of 2020, the Company recognized $2.0 million in PPP related SBA fees. The Company expects that the majority of PPP loans will be forgiven over the next several quarters. At December 31, 2020, there was $4.1 million of deferred fees that have not been accreted to income.

Interest expense was $3.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $6.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $3.2 million for the third quarter of 2020. The decrease from the fourth quarter of 2019 was primarily due to a decrease in the interest rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities of 58 basis points, partially offset by an increase of $262.2 million in average interest-bearing liabilities. The increase in average interest-bearing liabilities was largely due to growth in deposits from PPP loan funding and other government stimulus payments and programs as well as organic growth and the issuance of $50.0 million in subordinated notes on September 29, 2020. Additionally, the decrease in the rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities was the result of the decline in the overall rate environment experienced in the first quarter of 2020. The increase in interest expense from the third quarter of 2020 was primarily due to the interest expense on the $50.0 million in subordinated notes issued on September 29, 2020, partially offset by a decrease in the interest rate paid on interest-bearing deposits.

The average cost of deposits was 31 basis points for the fourth quarter of 2020, representing a 45 basis point decrease from the fourth quarter of 2019 and a three basis point decrease from the third quarter of 2020.

The net interest margin was 3.64% for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to 4.03% for the fourth quarter of 2019 and 3.82% for the third quarter of 2020.

Noninterest Income and Noninterest Expense

Noninterest income was $26.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $16.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $31.7 million for the third quarter of 2020. The increase in noninterest income for the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 was primarily due to growth of $10.3 million in mortgage banking activities revenue as a result of an additional $271.6 million in mortgage loan originations. Additionally, there was a decrease in income from insurance activities of $782,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 related to the effect of adoption of the revenue recognition standard for quarterly reporting in 2020, with a higher amount of income now being recognized in the third quarter compared to being recognized in the fourth quarter in previous years. The decrease from the third quarter of 2020 was primarily due to a reduction of $4.5 million in mortgage banking activities revenue as a result of lower interest rate lock commitments in the fourth quarter and a decrease of $1.1 million in income from insurance activities.

Noninterest expense was $36.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $31.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $36.0 million for the third quarter of 2020. The increase in noninterest expense as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 was primarily driven by a $3.8 million increase in personnel expense. This increase was predominantly related to an additional $3.7 million in commissions paid on the higher volume of mortgage loan originations. Appraisal expenses, principally for the Company’s mortgage operations, increased $517,000 related to the growth in mortgage production. Net occupancy expenses increased $499,000 primarily from the completion of the Company’s acquisition of West Texas State Bank in the middle of the fourth quarter of 2019 as well as additional locations for mortgage operations. The increase from the third quarter of 2020 was primarily the result of a recovery of $303,000 of legal expenses from the previously disclosed settlement of a lawsuit in September 2020. Additionally, there was increased marketing and business development in the Company’s Permian Basin branches in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Loan Portfolio and Composition

Loans held for investment were $2.22 billion as of December 31, 2020, compared to $2.29 billion as of September 30, 2020 and $2.14 billion as of December 31, 2019. The $66.7 million decrease during the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to the third quarter of 2020 was primarily the result of $41.8 million in forgiveness and paydowns on PPP loans, seasonal paydowns of $28.0 million in agricultural operating loans, and the early payoff of a $16.0 million state and municipality loan, offset by organic loan growth. As of December 31, 2020, loans held for investment increased $78.0 million from December 31, 2019, largely attributable to the PPP loans primarily funded in the second quarter of 2020, partially offset by the slower loan demand and accelerated paydowns experienced during 2020.

The Economic Aid Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, authorized an additional $284.5 billion in new PPP funding and extends the authority of lenders to make PPP loans through March 31, 2021. The Company intends to participate in the new round of the PPP.

Agricultural production loans were $105.9 million as of December 31, 2020, compared to $133.9 million as of September 30, 2020 and $131.2 million as of December 31, 2019. The Company did not experience the typical historical increase in seasonal fundings on these agricultural production loans during the third quarter of 2020, primarily as a result of drought conditions or damaged crops and where the borrower received crop insurance proceeds to pay down the loans.

Deposits and Borrowings

Deposits totaled $2.97 billion as of December 31, 2020, compared to $2.94 billion as of September 30, 2020 and $2.70 billion as of December 31, 2019. Deposits increased $30.5 million, or 1.0%, in the fourth quarter of 2020 from September 30, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, deposits increased $277.5 million, or 10.3%, from December 31, 2019. The increase in deposits since December 31, 2019 is primarily a result of organic growth as well as existing customers increasing their balances.

Noninterest-bearing deposits were $917.3 million as of December 31, 2020, compared to $906.1 million as of September 30, 2020 and $790.9 million as of December 31, 2019. Noninterest-bearing deposits represented 30.8% of total deposits as of December 31, 2020. The increase in noninterest-bearing deposit balances at December 31, 2020 compared to September 30, 2020 was $11.3 million, or 1.2%. The increase in noninterest-bearing deposit balances at December 31, 2020 compared to December 31, 2019 was $126.4 million, or 16.0%, and is primarily a result of organic growth as well as existing customers increasing their balances.

The Bank has utilized its lines of credit with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (the “FHLB”) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to supplement funding for origination of PPP loans as needed. This included borrowing $75.0 million from the FHLB for a three month term. This borrowing matured in July 2020 and was repaid in full.

On September 29, the Company issued $50.0 million in fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due in 2030. These notes bear interest at a fixed rate of 4.50% for the first five years, and the interest rate will reset quarterly thereafter to the then current three-month Secured Overnight Financing Rate, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, plus 438 basis points.

Asset Quality

As part of the Bank’s efforts to support its customers and protect the Bank as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank has provided borrowers relief by offering varying forms of loan modifications including 90-day payment deferrals, 6-month interest only terms, or in certain select cases periods of longer than 6 months of interest only. As of December 31, 2020, total active loan modifications attributed to COVID-19 were $64.1 million, or 2.9% of the Company’s loan portfolio, down from $124.0 million, or 5.4% of the Company’s loan portfolio, at September 30, 2020. Approximately 95% of the active modified loans at December 31, 2020 are interest only periods longer than 6 months, primarily in the hotel portfolio.

The provision for loan losses recorded for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $141,000 compared to $896,000 for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $6.1 million for the third quarter of 2020. The decrease from the third quarter of 2020 is a result of a modest improvement in the economy, a decline in the amount of loans that are actively under a modification, and a decrease in outstanding loan balances. There is continued uncertainty from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the full extent of the impact on the economy and the Bank’s customers remains unknown at this time. Accordingly, additional provisions for loan losses may be necessary in future periods.

The allowance for loan losses to loans held for investment was 2.05% as of December 31, 2020, compared to 2.01% as of September 30, 2020 and 1.13% as of December 31, 2019. The allowance for loan losses to non-PPP loans held for investment was 2.22% as of December 31, 2020.

The nonperforming assets to total assets ratio as of December 31, 2020 was 0.45%, compared to 0.46% as of September 30, 2020 and 0.24% at December 31, 2019.

Annualized net charge-offs were 0.11% for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to 0.10% for the third quarter of 2020 and 0.17% for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Conference Call

South Plains will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter and year-end 2020 financial results today, January 27, 2021 at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial 1-877-407-9716 (international callers please dial 1-201-493-6779) approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. A live audio webcast of the conference call and conference materials will be available on the Company’s website at https://www.spfi.bank/news-events/events.

A replay of the conference call will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call and can be accessed on the investor section of the Company’s website as well as by dialing 1-844-512-2921 (international callers please dial 1-412-317-6671). The pin to access the telephone replay is 13714991. The replay will be available until February 10, 2021.

About South Plains Financial, Inc.

South Plains is the bank holding company for City Bank, a Texas state-chartered bank headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. City Bank is one of the largest independent banks in West Texas and has additional banking operations in the Dallas, El Paso, Greater Houston, the Permian Basin, and College Station Texas markets, and the Ruidoso and Eastern New Mexico markets. South Plains provides a wide range of commercial and consumer financial services to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in its market areas. Its principal business activities include commercial and retail banking, along with insurance, investment, trust and mortgage services. Please visit https://www.spfi.bank for more information.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Some of the financial measures included in this press release are not measures of financial performance recognized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP financial measures include Tangible Book Value Per Common Share, Tangible Common Equity to Tangible Assets, Adjusted Efficiency Ratio, and Pre-Tax, Pre-Provision Income. The Company believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide both management and investors a more complete understanding of the Company’s financial position and performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are supplemental and are not a substitute for any analysis based on GAAP financial measures.

We classify a financial measure as being a non-GAAP financial measure if that financial measure excludes or includes amounts, or is subject to adjustments that have the effect of excluding or including amounts, that are included or excluded, as the case may be, in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP as in effect from time to time in the United States in our statements of income, balance sheets or statements of cash flows. Not all companies use the same calculation of these measures; therefore, this presentation may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures as presented by other companies.

 

   
Contact: Mikella Newsom, Chief Risk Officer and Secretary
  (866) 771-3347
  investors@city.bank


Contact Information:

Mikella Newsom, Chief Risk Officer and Secretary








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