Cadence Bancorporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$CADE #earnings–Cadence Bancorporation (NYSE: CADE) (“Cadence”) today announced net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 of $200.6 million or $1.57 per share, compared to $51.4 million or $0.40 per share for the quarter ended December 31, 2019, and $49.3 million or $0.39 per share for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. For the full year ended December 31, 2020, Cadence reported a net loss of ($205.5) million or ($1.63) per diluted common share (“per share”), compared to net income of $202.0 million or $1.56 per share for the year ended December 31, 2019. The fourth quarter of 2020 included an acceleration of gain recognition from the interest rate collar we terminated in March 2020 which resulted in $129.5 million ($169.2 million pretax) or $1.02 per share being accelerated into fourth quarter earnings (“accelerated hedge revenue”). This acceleration was triggered by the determination of hedge accounting partial ineffectiveness as announced in our related Form 8-K filed January 7, 2021.

“We are pleased to report strong performance across multiple fronts in the fourth quarter. The provision for loan losses is down meaningfully linked quarter, as are nonperforming and criticized assets. With the exception of hospitality, we saw broad-based improvement in credit migration, as many businesses recover, and our portfolios continue to de-risk. Our deposit franchise improved materially in 2020, and in the fourth quarter it was encouraging to see an increase in net interest margin and yields on originated loans. Our hedging activities protected the bank from the sharp decline in interest rates this year, and the unwinding of the hedge has produced a significant increase in regulatory capital, with our Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio ending the year at 14.0%. Considering these results, we are pleased to announce proactive capital actions, including an increase of our fourth quarter dividend to $0.15 cents per share, payable in the first quarter 2021. Furthermore, we plan to retire maturing and callable debt and reactivate our share buyback program, which had been put on hold during the shutdown. Cadence operates in some of the most attractive markets in America, with a highly motivated and experienced team focused on serving our customers and driving shareholder value. While there clearly remains uncertainty in the broader environment, we are encouraged by our performance and the opportunities to further leverage our excess capital and liquidity in 2021,” stated Paul B. Murphy, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cadence Bancorporation.

Adjusted Performance Metrics (1):

  • Adjusted net income (1), excluding non-routine income and expenses (2), was $206.7 million for the full year of 2020 compared to $223.1 million for 2019. For the fourth quarter of 2020, adjusted net income was $199.7 million, an increase of $147.8 million or 284% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 and an increase of $148.3 million or 288% compared to the third quarter of 2020.
  • Adjusted pre-tax pre-provision net revenue (1) for the full year 2020 was $542.5 million, compared to $400.3 million for the full year 2019. Adjusted pre-tax pre-provision net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $260.0 million, an increase of $165.2 million or 174% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 and an increase of $165.4 million or 175% compared to the third quarter of 2020.
  • Adjusted EPS (1) for the full year 2020 was $1.64 compared to $1.72 for 2019. Adjusted EPS for fourth quarter of 2020 of $1.57 increased from the prior year quarter of $0.40 and increased from the linked quarter of $0.40.
  • Adjusted annualized returns on average assets (1) and adjusted tangible common equity (1) for the full year 2020 were 1.14% and 11.59%, respectively, compared to 1.26% and 13.60% for the full year 2019, respectively, and for the fourth quarter of 2020 were 4.33% and 41.72%, respectively, compared to 1.16% and 11.93%, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2019 and 1.12% and 11.52%, respectively, for the third quarter of 2020.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights:

Fourth quarter 2020 highlights (compared to the linked quarter where applicable) are as follows:

  • The provision for credit losses for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $2.8 million compared to $33.0 million in the linked quarter reflecting improvement in overall credit metrics and lower loan balances. As ofDecember 31, 2020, our allowance for credit losses (“ACL”) increased to 2.89% of total loans, up from 2.86% at September 30, 2020. Excluding Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans, our ACL ratio to loans was 3.12% at December 31, 2020, up from 3.11% at September 30, 2020. Our ratio of ACL to total nonperforming loans increased to 261% from 204%.
  • Our tax equivalent net interest margin (“NIM”) increased to 3.54%, up 5 basis points from prior quarter. The improvement in NIM was driven by continued management of deposit costs, declining 7 basis points to 0.25%, and fees earned on forgiven PPP loans and other loan payoffs.
  • Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio increased to 14.0% and total risk weighted capital increased to 16.7%, reflecting material increases from the prior quarter due to the strong quarterly earnings combined with lower risk weighted assets.
  • Non-interest income in the fourth quarter of 2020 included the accelerated hedge revenue of $169.2 million.
  • Annualized returns on average assets and tangible common equity (1) for the fourth quarter of 2020 were 4.35% and 41.90%, respectively, compared to 1.08% and 11.08%, respectively, for the third quarter of 2020, with the increases reflecting the impact of the accelerated hedge revenue combined with lower loan provisions.

Balance Sheet:

Total assets were $18.7 billion as of December 31, 2020, an increase of $912.3 million or 5.1% from December 31, 2019, and an increase of $308.4 million or 1.7% from September 30, 2020. The linked quarter increase was driven by increases in core deposits, cash and securities, partially offset by net declines in loans.

Cash and Cash Equivalents at December 31, 2020 totaled $2.1 billion as compared to $1.0 billion at December 31, 2019 and to $1.2 billion at September 30, 2020. The $806.8 million increase in the fourth quarter of 2020 resulted from a decrease in loans combined with an increase in deposits.

Investment Securities at December 31, 2020 totaled $3.3 billion as compared to $2.4 billion at December 31, 2019 and $3.1 billion at September 30, 2020. Securities as a percent of earning assets was 18.6%, 14.6%, and 17.4% at December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and September 30, 2020, respectively. The increase in securities from both the prior year and linked quarter is a result of increased balance sheet liquidity resulting from growth in deposits and the declines in net loans. Securities acquired during the fourth quarter include primarily agency pass-through mortgage-backed securities along with some municipal securities.

Loans at December 31, 2020 totaled $12.7 billion as compared to $13.0 billion at December 31, 2019, a decrease of $264.5 million or 2.0%. Loans decreased $746.4 million or 5.5% from $13.5 billion at September 30, 2020. The decline in the quarter included paydowns and payoffs of $117 million in PPP loans, $113 million in criticized loans, $180 million in Shared National Credits (SNCs), and $94 million in leveraged loans without moderating factors (note there is some overlap between these categories). On a portfolio basis, Restaurants declined $120 million and Energy declined $80 million, reflecting our targeted risk reduction strategy in those portfolios. Commercial Real Estate (“CRE”) declined $200 million, primarily reflective of credits transitioning to the permanent debt markets. The $321 million decline in General Commercial &Industrial (“C&I”) included $90 million in PPP loans as well as paydowns and payoffs resulting from excess borrower liquidity, borrower migration to non-bank and Main Street Lending fundings, and resolutions of problem credits.

Goodwill at December 31, 2020 totaled $43.1 million, down from $486.0 million at December 31, 2019 and unchanged from September 30, 2020. As previously reported, the Company recorded a $443.7 million ($412.9 million, after-tax), non-cash goodwill impairment charge in the first quarter of 2020. The remaining goodwill at December 31, 2020 relates to our registered investment advisory subsidiary and trust division.

Total Deposits at December 31, 2020 were $16.1 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion or 8.9% from the December 31, 2019 level and up $266.0 million or 1.7% from the September 30, 2020 level. Non-interest bearing deposits were $5.0 billion or 31.4% of total deposits at December 31, 2020, up from $3.8 billion or 26.0% at December 31, 2019 and essentially unchanged from September 30, 2020. Total cost of deposits declined to 0.25% for the fourth quarter 2020, significantly lower than both the fourth quarter 2019 cost of 1.14% and the third quarter 2020 cost of 0.32%.

Shareholders’ equity was $2.1 billion at December 31, 2020, a decrease of $339.7 million or 13.8% from December 31, 2019, and an increase of $49.6 million or 2.4% from September 30, 2020. The year over year decrease was driven by the goodwill impairment charge in the first quarter of 2020. The linked quarter increase included quarterly net income of $200.6 million, $9.4 million in cash dividends, and a decrease of $144.6 million in other comprehensive income (“OCI”) driven by the reclassification of hedge revenue into current earnings.

Tangible common shareholders’ equity (1) was $2.0 billion at December 31, 2020, an increase of $124.4 million or 6.7% from December 31, 2019 and an increase of $54.8 million or 2.8% from September 30, 2020. The full year increase was driven by tangible earnings during the year. The linked quarter increase resulted from the same factors noted above.

  • Total shareholders’ equity to total assets and tangible equity to tangible assets were 11.3% and 10.7%, respectively, at December 31, 2020 compared to 13.8% and 10.9% at December 31, 2019, and 11.3% and 10.6% at September 30, 2020, respectively.
  • Tangible book value per share (1) was $15.83 as of December 31, 2020, an increase of $1.18 or 8.1% from $14.65 as of December 31, 2019 and an increase of $0.43 or 2.8% from $15.40 as of September 30, 2020.
  • Total outstanding shares at December 31, 2020 were 125.97 million.

Quarter end regulatory capital ratios remained robust and increased significantly during the quarter as follows:

 

 

4Q20

 

3Q20

 

4Q19

Common equity Tier 1 capital

 

14.0%

 

12.0%

 

11.5%

Tier 1 leverage capital

 

10.9%

 

9.9%

 

10.3%

Tier 1 risk-based capital

 

14.0%

 

12.0%

 

11.5%

Total risk-based capital

 

16.7%

 

14.7%

 

13.7%

Asset Quality:

Credit quality metrics during the fourth quarter of 2020 reflected a number of improvements including declines in nonperforming and criticized loan balances but continued to reflect ongoing COVID-driven stress and economic uncertainty, particularly in the Hospitality sector.

  • Net charge-offs for the full year 2020 were $106.1 million or 0.79% of average loans as compared to $85.8 million or 0.63% for the full year 2019. Net charge-offs for the fourth quarter of 2020 were $21.2 million or 0.64% annualized of average loans compared to $35.3 million or 1.04% annualized and $19.9 million or 0.58% annualized for the quarters ended December 31, 2019 and September 30, 2020, respectively. The current quarter net charge-offs included $4.2 million in Restaurant, $9.2 million in Commercial Real Estate (“CRE”), and $7.3 million in General C&I.
  • Provision for credit losses for the full year 2020 was $278.0 million or 2.06% of average loans as compared to $111.0 million or 0.81% of average loans for 2019. Provision for credit losses for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $2.8 million as compared to $27.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and $33.0 million for the third quarter of 2020. The current quarter’s provision was impacted by improvements in nonperforming and criticized loans and lower loan balances. The fourth quarter 2020 loan provision was concentrated in the CRE segment provision of $7.4 million (primarily due to the Hospitality portfolio), which was partially offset by reductions of $3.0 million in C&I and $1.4 million in Consumer segments.
  • The ACL was $367.2 million or 2.89% of total loans as of December 31, 2020, as compared to $119.6 million or 0.92% of total loans as of December 31, 2019, and $385.4 million or 2.86% of total loans as of September 30, 2020. Excluding PPP loans, the ACL was 3.12% of total loans at December 31, 2020, increased from 3.11% at September 30, 2020.
  • The material increase in the ACL during 2020 incorporated loan provisions of $278.0 million, net charge-offs of $106.1 million and “day 1” CECL adoption impact of $75.6 million.
  • Total nonperforming loans (“NPL”) as a percent of total loans were 1.08% at December 31, 2020, compared to 0.92% at December 31, 2019 and 1.40% at September 30, 2020. NPL totaled $138.0 million, $119.6 million and $189.1 million as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019 and September 30, 2020, respectively. The linked quarter decline of $51.1 million or 27% was due primarily to payoffs and to a lesser extent, net charge-offs.
  • The ACL coverage of NPL increased meaningfully to 266.1% as of December 31, 2020, as compared to 100.1% as of December 31, 2019, and 203.8% as of September 30, 2020.
  • Total criticized loans at December 31, 2020 were $871.7 million or 6.85% of total loans as compared to $605.1 million or 4.66% at December 31, 2019 and $1.1 billion or 8.05% at September 30, 2020. The linked quarter decrease of $211.3 million or 20% was primarily in Restaurant, Energy, General C&I, and Healthcare credits, reflecting decreases of 28.7%, 21.0%, 30.2% and 49.0%, respectively.
  • Active COVID related loan payment deferrals totaled $135 million at January 15, 2021, down from $376 million at September 30, 2020.
  • Loans 30-89 days past due were 0.36% of total loans at December 31, 2020, compared to 0.17% at December 31, 2019 and 0.15% at September 30, 2020. While minor, the increase was primarily due to a small number of loans that includes $9.4 million in Hospitality loans and $4.8 million in Mortgage loans.

Total Revenue:

Total operating revenue (1) for 2020 was $926.3 million, up $144.2 million or 18.4%, and for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $366.5 million, up $171.7 million or 88.1% from the same period in 2019 and up $181.8 million or 98.5% from the linked quarter.

Net interest income for the full year 2020 was $619.0 million as compared to $651.2 million for 2019, a decrease of $32.2 million or 4.9%. The year-over-year decline in earning asset yields of 117 basis points was driven by lower index rates partially offset by our hedges, combined with an increase in lower yielding securities. This decline was partially offset by our cost of funds declining 81 basis points as we achieved record low-deposit costs and record high levels of non-interest bearing deposits during 2020.

Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $156.7 million, a decrease of $4.2 million or 2.6% from the same period in 2019 and an increase of $2.7 million or 1.8% from the third quarter of 2020. Compared to the linked quarter, loan interest income excluding accretion increased $0.9 million as loan fees from loan payoffs offset the impact of lower volumes, funding costs decreased by $2.5 million driven by continued reduction of deposit costs, and hedge interest income increased $0.2 million. These improvements were partially offset by a decrease of $0.5 million in loan accretion and a decrease of $0.3 million in investment income due to lower yielding securities.

  • We continued to lower our interest rates on deposits with total cost of deposits dropping from 0.32% to 0.25% linked quarter, down 21.9%. Noninterest-bearing deposits as a percent of total deposits remained stable at 31.4% compared to 31.9% in the linked quarter. Total interest-bearing liability costs declined by 8 basis points from 0.59% to 0.51% linked quarter, down 13.6%. Average interest-bearing liabilities declined $244.2 million or 2.2% from the prior quarter to $10.9 billion.
  • Yield on loans excluding accretion and hedge income was 3.89% in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 14 basis points from 3.75% in the third quarter of 2020. Excluding the impact of PPP loans, this yield was 3.98% and 3.87%, for the fourth and third quarters of 2020, respectively. Average loans declined $414.0 million or 3.0% from the prior quarter to $13.2 billion.
  • Total hedge income in interest income (which includes the amortized effective collar gain recognition and other hedge income) for the fourth quarter of 2020 totaled $19.9 million as compared to $19.7 million for the third quarter of 2020. The effective portion of the collar gain was and will continue to be reflected in interest income, whereas the ineffective portion of the gain was reflected in noninterest income during the fourth quarter of 2020. At December 31, 2020, the remaining portion of the collar gain (included in OCI) yet to be amortized into revenue was $35.4 million, with $33.5 million expected to be amortized into interest income in 2021 and the final $1.9 million expected in early 2022.
  • Accretion on acquired loans totaled $5.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2020 as compared to $6.4 million for the third quarter of 2020.
  • Yield on investment securities declined to 1.87% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 2.06% in the linked quarter, with the lower yield reflecting the impact of securities purchased in the fourth quarter and late in the third quarter. Average investment securities increased $241.4 million or 8.2% from the prior quarter to $3.2 billion. Fed funds sold and short-term investments also increased by $237.0 million or 25.2% from the prior quarter due to excess liquidity during the fourth quarter.
  • Total earning asset yields declined slightly to 3.85% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 3.86% in the linked quarter, with average balances increasing by $64.0 million or 0.4% to $17.7 billion.
  • Our NIM for the full year 2020 decreased to 3.58% compared to 4.00% for 2019. Our net interest spread for 2020 decreased to 3.29% as compared to 3.48% for 2019. Our NIM for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 3.54% as compared to 3.89% for the fourth quarter of 2019 and 3.49% for the third quarter of 2020.

PPP loans averaged $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter at a yield of 2.82%, and along with cash in deposits associated with these loans, negatively impacted our fourth quarter NIM by 10 basis points as illustrated in the table below. Excluding the impact of the PPP program, the fourth quarter 2020 NIM remained stable at 3.64%, as lower deposit costs more than offset the impact of lower loan balances and lower securities yields. Specifically, the NIM change during the quarter included:

Quarterly Change

$ MM

NIM

3Q 2020 Net Interest Income

$154.5

 

3.49%

3Q 2020 Net Interest Income before PPP loans & associated cash

$148.4

 

3.64%

Loans (ex PPP & accretion)

(0.5)

 

(0.04%)

Deposits

2.6

 

0.07%

Hedge Income

0.2

 

0.00%

Accretion

(0.5)

 

(0.01%)

Securities

(0.3)

 

(0.01%)

Cash

0.2

 

0.00%

Borrowings

(0.2)

 

(0.01%)

NIM before PPP loans & cash*

$149.9

 

3.64%

PPP Loans & associated cash

7.4

 

(0.10%)

4Q 2020 Net Interest Margin

$157.3

 

3.54%

*Calculated by removing the quarterly average balance of PPP loans and income, as well as the quarterly average balance of cash associated with unused PPP funds.

Noninterest income for the full year of 2020 was $307.4 million, an increase of $176.4 million or 135% from 2019. Noninterest income for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $209.7 million, an increase of $175.8 million from the same period of 2019 and an increase of $177.2 million from the linked quarter. Adjusted noninterest income (1) for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $208.4 million, an increase of $176.1 million from the fourth quarter of 2019, and an increase of $175.3 million from the linked quarter.

  • The fourth quarter includes the accelerated hedge revenue of $169.2 million reclassified from OCI. The partial accounting ineffectiveness determination resulted from a significant decrease in forecasted LIBOR based loans to support future amortization of the remaining transaction gain on the termination of our interest rate collar. See additional discussion in our Form 8-K filed January 7, 2021.
  • Excluding the accelerated hedge revenue, the linked quarter increase was $6.1 million including increases of $3.6 million in earnings from limited partnerships, $1.3 million in securities gains, $0.7 million in investment advisory revenue, and $0.6 million in credit related fees.
  • Noninterest income as a percent of total revenue for 2020 was 33.2% as compared to 16.7% for 2019, and for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 57.2% as compared to 17.4% for the fourth quarter of 2019 and 17.5% for the linked quarter. Before the impact of the accelerated hedge revenue of $169.2 million, noninterest income as a percent of total revenue for 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2020 were 18.3% and 20.5%, respectively, both increased from the comparable periods.

Noninterest expense for the full year of 2020 was $826.5 million, an increase of $417.7 million or 102.2% from 2019 due to the goodwill impairment charge of $443.7 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020. Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $105.3 million, an increase of $4.8 million or 4.8% from the same period in 2019 and an increase of $10.5 million or 11.0% from the linked quarter. Adjusted noninterest expense (1), which excludes the impact of non-routine items (2), was $377.6 million for the full year of 2020, a decrease of $1.4 million or 0.4% from 2019. For the fourth quarter of 2020, adjusted noninterest expense was $105.1 million, up $6.7 million or 6.9% from the fourth quarter of 2019 and up $12.6 million or 13.6% from the third quarter of 2020. The linked quarter increase in noninterest expenses resulted from an increase of $8.1 million in personnel costs driven by an increase of $8.5 million in incentive compensation due to improved corporate performance partially offset by a reduction of $1.0 million in medical insurance expense due to improved claims experience.

Our adjusted efficiency ratio(1) for the full year of 2020 was 41.0% as compared to 48.6% for 2019. The adjusted efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 28.8%, compared to the linked quarter ratio of 49.4% and the prior year’s fourth quarter ratio of 50.9%. The full year and linked quarter improvements are both a result of the accelerated hedge revenue of $169.2 million. Before the impact of the accelerated hedge revenue, the full year and fourth quarter 2020 efficiency ratios both reflected slight increases at 50.3% and 53.7%, respectively, with the full year increase reflecting lower revenues in 2020 and the linked quarter increase reflecting the higher fourth quarter expenses.

Taxes:

The effective tax rate for the full year 2020 was (15.3%) as compared to 23.0% for the full year 2019. The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 22.4% compared to 16.1% for the linked quarter and 23.4% for the fourth quarter of 2019. The full year 2020 effective rate was impacted by $313.3 million in non-deductible goodwill impairment.

_____________________________

(1)

Considered a non-GAAP financial measure. See Table10 “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation of our non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

(2)

See Table 10 for a detail of non-routine income and expenses. The fourth quarter 2020 accelerated hedge revenue is not included as an adjustment from GAAP earnings to arrive at the non-GAAP adjusted performance metrics presented herein due to the historical and continuing nature of hedge revenue in our earnings, and the revenue resulting from the partial ineffectiveness designation merely representing an acceleration of a portion of the fixed collar gain into earnings as compared to the original amortization expectation. The revised amortization expectation for the remainder of the collar gain is presented within this release for clarification of this component of ongoing hedge revenue.

Contacts

Cadence Bancorporation
Media contact:
Danielle Kernell

713-871-4051

[email protected]

Investor relations contact:
Valerie Toalson

713-871-4103 or 800-698-7878

[email protected]

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