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Chemical Financial Corporation Q1 net income $17.8 million

Staff writer |
Chemical Financial Corporation announced 2015 first quarter net income of $17.8 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, compared to Q1 2014 net income of $13.8 million, or $0.46 per diluted share.

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This is also compares to 2014 fourth quarter net income of $15.3 million, or $0.46 per diluted share.

Excluding nonrecurring transaction-related expenses, net income in the first quarter of 2015 was $18.7 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, up 33% over net income of $14.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and up 1.7% over net income in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Nonrecurring transaction-related expenses attributable to the April 1, 2015 acquisition of Monarch Community Bancorp, Inc and the pending acquisition of Lake Michigan Financial corporation were $1.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2015, while nonrecurring transaction-related expenses attributable to the October 31, 2014 acquisition of Northwestern Bancorp, Inc. were $0.3 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $4.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Net income, excluding nonrecurring transaction-related expenses, in the first quarter of 2015 was higher than the first quarter of 2014 due to a combination of higher net interest income and higher noninterest income, which were partially offset by higher operating expenses.

The increases in each of these components of net income were higher due, in part, to the Northwestern transaction. Net income, excluding nonrecurring transaction-related expenses, in the first quarter of 2015 was higher than the fourth quarter of 2014 due primarily to incremental net income resulting from the Northwestern transaction.

The corporation's return on average assets was 0.98% during the first quarter of 2015, compared to 0.90% in the first quarter of 2014 and 0.87% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The corporation's return on average shareholders' equity was 9.0% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 8.0% in the first quarter of 2014 and 7.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Nonrecurring transaction-related expenses in the first quarter of 2015 reduced the corporation's return on average assets by 5 basis points and return on average shareholders' equity by 50 basis points.

Net interest income was $59.2 million in the first quarter of 2015, $9.4 million, or 18.9%, higher than the first quarter of 2014 and $0.9 million, or 1.6%, higher than the fourth quarter of 2014.

The increase in net interest income in the first quarter of 2015 over the first quarter of 2014 was largely attributable to the positive impact of total loan growth of $950 million, or 20%, during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015, including the impact of $475 million of loans acquired in the Northwestern transaction.

The increase in net interest income in the first quarter of 2015 over the fourth quarter of 2014 was attributable to the incremental benefit of one additional month of net interest income resulting from the Northwestern transaction, which was partially offset by two fewer days in the first quarter of 2015.

The net interest margin (on a tax-equivalent basis) was 3.55% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 3.53% in the first quarter of 2014 and 3.62% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The positive impact on the net interest margin attributable to loan growth during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was offset by a reduction in the average yield on the loan portfolio. The average yield on the loan portfolio was 4.16% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 4.28% in the first quarter of 2014 and 4.22% in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The average yield of the investment securities portfolio was 1.96% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2.11% in the first quarter of 2014 and 2.02% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Modest changes in the mix of customer deposits and the repricing of matured customer certificates of deposit resulted in the corporation's average cost of funds declining to 0.21% in the first quarter of 2015 from 0.29% in the first quarter of 2014 and 0.23% in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The provision for loan losses was $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The corporation's quarterly provision for loan losses remained relatively consistent throughout 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, despite significant organic growth in its loan portfolio, due largely to a reduction in net loan charge-offs.

Net loan charge-offs were $1.9 million, or 0.14% of average loans, in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $2.2 million, or 0.19% of average loans, in the first quarter of 2014 and $2.8 million, or 0.21% of average loans, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The reduction in net loan charge-offs in the first quarter of 2015, compared to both the first and fourth quarters of 2014, was due to the continued improvement in the overall credit quality of the loan portfolio and characteristics of an improving economy in the State of Michigan.

The corporation's nonperforming loans, consisting of nonaccrual loans, accruing loans past due 90 days or more as to principal or interest payments and nonperforming troubled debt restructurings, totaled $72.7 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $71.2 million at December 31, 2014 and $76.5 million at March 31, 2014. Nonperforming loans comprised 1.28% of total loans at March 31, 2015, compared to 1.25% at December 31, 2014 and 1.61% at March 31, 2014.

At March 31, 2015, the allowance for loan losses of the originated loan portfolio was $75.3 million, or 1.49% of originated loans, compared to $75.2 million, or 1.51% of originated loans, at December 31, 2014 and $78.0 million, or 1.75% of originated loans, at March 31, 2014. The allowance for loan losses of the originated loan portfolio as a percentage of nonperforming loans was 103% at March 31, 2015, compared to 106% at December 31, 2014 and 102% at March 31, 2014.

Noninterest income was $19.3 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $13.7 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $18.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2015 was $5.6 million higher than the first quarter of 2014, with all major categories of noninterest income higher and partially attributable to incremental revenue due to the Northwestern transaction.

Service charges and fees on deposit accounts were $1 million higher due to the corporation, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, assessing a fee for customers who receive a paper statement. Mortgage banking revenue was $0.6 million higher due to a significant increase in the volume of loans originated and sold in the secondary market, as refinancing activity increased with the decline in market interest rates.

Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2015 was $1 million higher than the fourth quarter of 2014, with the increase primarily attributable to higher wealth management revenue and electronic banking revenue, which were partially offset by lower service charges and fees on deposit accounts attributable to lower overdraft fee income.

Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2015 included $0.6 million of gains related to the sale of $13 million of available-for-sale investment securities. The majority of these investment securities were obligations from municipalities which were located outside of the corporation's geographic market and acquired in previous bank acquisition transactions.

Operating expenses were $51.0 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $42.2 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $52.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Operating expenses included nonrecurring transaction-related expenses of $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2015, $0.3 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $4.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Excluding these nonrecurring transaction-related expenses, operating expenses in the first quarter of 2015 were $49.7 million, $7.8 million, or 19%, higher than the first quarter of 2014 and $1.2 million, or 2.4%, higher than the fourth quarter of 2014. The increase in operating expenses in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the first quarter of 2014, was primarily attributable to incremental costs associated with the Northwestern transaction.

In addition, the corporation experienced a reduction in group health benefit costs with these costs totaling $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $3.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Based on historical experience, group health benefit costs are lower in the first quarter of each year.

The corporation's efficiency ratio was 62.4% in the first quarter of 2015, 62.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 64.5% in the first quarter of 2014.

Total assets were $7.55 billion at March 31, 2015, compared to $7.32 billion at December 31, 2014 and $6.34 billion at March 31, 2014. The increase in total assets during the three months ended March 31, 2015 was primarily attributable to an increase in seasonal municipal deposits, with a large portion of the funds received being held in interest-bearing balances at the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB).

The increase in total assets during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was largely attributable to the acquisition of Northwestern, in addition to an increase in deposits that was used to partially fund loan growth. Interest-bearing balances at the FRB totaled $272.1 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $38.1 million at December 31, 2014 and $260.1 million at March 31, 2014.

Investment securities were $1.06 billion at March 31, 2015, compared to $1.07 billion at December 31, 2014 and $936 million at March 31, 2014. The increase in investment securities during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was due to investment securities acquired in the Northwestern transaction.

Total loans were $5.70 billion at March 31, 2015, up $14.6 million, or 0.3%, from total loans of $5.69 billion at December 31, 2014 and up $950 million, or 20%, from total loans of $4.75 billion at March 31, 2014. The increase in loans during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was attributable equally to organic loan growth and loans acquired in the Northwestern transaction.

Total deposits were $6.32 billion at March 31, 2015, compared to $6.08 billion at December 31, 2014 and $5.23 billion at March 31, 2014. Total deposits were up $241 million, or 4.0%, during the three months ended March 31, 2015, with the increase primarily attributable to an increase in seasonal municipal deposits.

The increase in total deposits of $1.09 billion, or 21%, during the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was largely attributable to the acquisition of Northwestern. Short-term borrowings were $372.2 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $389.5 million at December 31, 2014 and $361.2 million at March 31, 2014.

At March 31, 2015, the corporation's tangible equity to assets ratio and total risk-based capital ratio were 8.4% and 12.8%, respectively, compared to 8.4% and 12.4%, respectively, at December 31, 2014 and 9.3% and 13.8%, respectively, at March 31, 2014.

The decreases in the corporation's capital ratios at March 31, 2015, compared to March 31, 2014, were attributable to the acquisition of Northwestern. At March 31, 2015, the corporation's book value was $24.68 per share, compared to $24.32 per share at December 31, 2014 and $23.63 per share at March 31, 2014.

At March 31, 2015, the corporation's tangible book value was $18.74 per share, compared to $18.35 per share at December 31, 2014 and $19.44 per share at March 31, 2014.


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