First Busey Announces 2014 Second Quarter Earnings

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| Source: First Busey Corporation

Message from our President & CEO

Significant progress from the second quarter of 2013:

  • Net income available to common stockholders of $8.0 million, up 23%;
  • Total average loans of $2.250 billion, up 8%;
  • Non-performing loans of $11.5 million, down 46%; and
  • Total non-interest expense of $26.8 million, down 4%.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., July 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Busey Corporation's (Nasdaq:BUSE) net income for the second quarter of 2014 was $8.2 million and net income available to common stockholders was $8.0 million, or $0.09 per fully-diluted common share. Net income was notably higher than the second quarter of 2013, when the Company reported net income of $7.4 million and net income available to common stockholders of $6.5 million, or $0.08 per fully-diluted common share. The Company reported net income of $7.9 million and net income available to common stockholders of $7.7 million, or $0.09 per fully-diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2014. Net income available to common stockholders grew 3.9% on a linked-quarter basis.

The Company's year-to-date net income through June 30, 2014 was $16.1 million and net income available to common stockholders was $15.7 million, or $0.18 per fully-diluted common share, compared to net income of $13.9 million and net income available to common stockholders of $12.1 million, or $0.14 per fully-diluted common share, for the comparable period of 2013.

Growth in quarterly and year-to-date net income available to common stockholders over the same periods in 2013 was led by a reduction in preferred dividends, improved credit costs, and lower operating expenses as the Company remains focused on cost control and productivity. Robust loan growth during 2013 pushed Small Business Lending Fund ("SBLF") qualified credits above certain thresholds required to meaningfully reduce costs of the preferred stock dividend beginning in 2014. Dividends paid on the preferred stock totaled $0.4 million for the first six months of 2014 compared to $1.8 million for the comparable period of 2013.

Provision for loan loss of $1.0 million in the second quarter of 2014 was unchanged from the $1.0 million provision in the first quarter of 2014 but decreased from $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. For the first six months of 2014, the provision for loan loss was $2.0 million, compared to $4.0 million for the same period of 2013, as the Company's continued commitment to improving asset quality and building balance sheet strength continues to yield positive results.

Gross loans at June 30, 2014 increased $91.4 million from March 31, 2014 after overcoming seasonal slowness and extreme winter weather conditions that reduced loan demand in the first quarter of 2014. Gross loans increased to $2.324 billion at June 30, 2014 from $2.233 billion at March 31, 2014 and $2.159 billion at June 30, 2013. Commercial loans increased to $1.738 billion as of June 30, 2014, which represents an increase of 3.2% from March 31, 2014 and 10.0% from June 30, 2013.

Challenging conditions across the mortgage industry began to moderate during the second quarter of 2014 as gains on sales of loans and mortgage portfolio balances both increased from the first quarter of 2014. Mortgage production nearly doubled from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2014, with total retail real estate portfolio balances growing by $36.0 million from $540.6 million as of March 31, 2014 to $576.6 million as of June 30, 2014, including held for sale loans. Gain on sales of loans increased to $1.2 million for the second quarter of 2014, a 25.8% increase from the $1.0 million reported for the first quarter of 2014, but decreased from $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2013. Year-to-date gain on sales of loans through June 30, 2014 were $2.2 million compared to $6.3 million in the same period of 2013 due to lower refinance volume as a result of market-based influences and higher interest rates.

Overall deposit levels of $2.9 billion at June 30, 2014 held steady from March 31, 2014 and June 30, 2013, while deposit costs continued to trend favorably lower. Non-interest bearing deposits of $605.3 million rose from $578.1 million at March 31, 2014 and from $514.1 million at June 30, 2013. The Company remained strongly core deposit funded at 77.3% of total assets as of June 30, 2014, with solid liquidity and significant market share in the communities it serves.

Capital Strength: At the end of the second quarter of 2014, Busey Bank continued to exceed the capital adequacy requirements necessary to be considered "well-capitalized" under regulatory guidance. Further, First Busey Corporation's Tangible Common Equity (TCE) increased to $328.7 million at June 30, 2014 from $321.8 million at March 31, 2014 and from $310.1 million at June 30, 2013. TCE represented 9.44% of tangible assets at June 30, 2014 compared to 9.15% at March 31, 2014 and 8.90% at June 30, 2013.1

1Tangible Common Equity, a non-GAAP metric, is defined as common equity less tax effected goodwill and intangibles at the end of the reporting period. Tangible assets, a non-GAAP metric, is defined as total assets less tax effected goodwill and intangibles at the end of the reporting period.

Due to continued strong financial performance, the Company will pay a cash dividend on July 25, 2014 of $0.05 per common share to stockholders of record as of July 18, 2014, which represents a 25% increase from the quarterly dividend of $0.04 per common share paid in July 2013.  First Busey Corporation has consistently paid dividends to its common stockholders since the bank holding company was originally organized in 1980.

Asset Quality: While much internal focus has been directed toward organic growth, the Company's commitment to credit quality remains strong, as evidenced by another quarter of meaningful progress across a range of credit indicators.  As of June 30, 2014, the Company reported non-performing loans of $11.5 million, which reflected the lowest level in over five years. Net charge-offs for the second quarter of 2014 also reflected yet another low at $1.0 million for the quarter, compared to $1.1 million for first quarter of 2014 and $1.3 million for the second quarter of 2013. Net charge-offs for the first six months of 2014 were $2.1 million compared to $3.5 million for the same period of 2013. The Company expects these levels to remain relatively stable for the remainder of 2014; however, this remains dependent upon market-specific economic conditions, and specific measures may fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

Fee-based Businesses: Busey Wealth Management's net income of $1.4 million for the second quarter of 2014 rose from $1.0 million for the first quarter of 2014 and $1.1 million for the second quarter of 2013. Busey Wealth Management's net income for the first six months of 2014 was $2.4 million as compared to $2.0 million for the first six months of 2013. Assets under care increased to $5.1 billion as of June 30, 2014 compared to $4.5 billion at June 30, 2013. FirsTech's net income of $0.3 million for the second quarter of 2014 was comparable to the first quarter of 2014 and was up from the second quarter of 2013 by 14.0%. FirsTech's year-to-date net income of $0.6 million increased from $0.5 million for the comparable period of 2013 on increased sales. 

Revenues from trust, brokerage and commissions and remittance processing activities - which are primarily generated through Busey Wealth Management and FirsTech - represented 56% of the Company's non-interest income for the first six months of 2014, providing a balance to traditional banking activities. Furthermore, the Company believes the boutique services offered to ultra-high net worth clients by Trevett Capital Partners within its suite of wealth services broadens its business base and enhances its ability to further develop revenue sources.

Trust fees decreased to $5.1 million for the second quarter of 2014 compared to $5.6 million for the first quarter of 2014 but increased from $4.7 million for the second quarter of 2013. The decline from the first quarter of 2014 was due to seasonal farm management fees recorded in the first quarter 2014; however, other trust fees increased over the same period. Trust fees for the first six months of 2014 were $10.7 million compared to $9.9 million in the same period of 2013.

Operating Performance: The Company continues to prioritize strengthening its balance sheet, diversifying revenue streams and developing appropriate platforms to sustain profitable organic growth. An active business outreach across the Company's footprint continues to support ongoing business expansion. Specific areas of operating performance are detailed as follows:

  • Net interest income of $25.0 million in the second quarter of 2014 increased from $24.6 million in the first quarter of 2014, but decreased slightly compared to the $25.2 million recorded in the second quarter of 2013. Net interest income for the first six months of 2014 was $49.6 million compared to $49.8 million for the same period of 2013.
  • Net interest margin was unchanged at 3.13% for the second quarter of 2014 as compared to the first quarter of 2014 but decreased from 3.17% for the second quarter of 2013. The net interest margin for the first six months of 2014 slightly decreased to 3.13% compared to 3.14% for the same period of 2013. Average loan balances for the three months ended June 30, 2014 increased compared to the three months ended March 31, 2014 and June 30, 2013, and also increased for the six month period ended June 30, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, positively influencing net interest margin while a highly competitive loan environment and a prolonged period of low interest rates continued to put downward pressure on yields and margins.
  • Salaries and wages and employee benefits decreased to $15.0 million in the second quarter of 2014 as compared to $15.1 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $15.7 million in the second quarter of 2013. In the first six months of 2014, salaries and wages and employee benefits decreased to $30.1 million as compared to $32.5 million for the same period of 2013. An ongoing commitment to seek sensible opportunities to reduce cost and enhance productivity resulted in personnel reductions and other cost containment efforts that have contributed to positive expense trends.
  • Data processing expense in the second quarter of 2014 decreased to $2.7 million compared to $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2014 but increased from $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2013. Data processing expense totaled $5.5 million for the first six months of 2014, compared to $5.2 million for the same period of 2013. As the Company manages data processing expense, it continues to enhance its mobile and internet banking services and prioritize strategies to mitigate the risk from cybercriminals through the use of new technology, industry best practices and customer education. A portion of the increase in data processing expense was also related to supporting new sources of revenue growth at FirsTech.

Overview and Strategy:

We are pleased with the sustained earnings momentum and strong performances across a broad spectrum of our businesses. Net income in each of our operating segments was up by over 15.0% from the prior year-to-date period. Investment portfolio changes added incremental revenue to net interest income from the prior quarter and we are encouraged by the resurgence of loan growth in the second quarter of 2014. On a linked quarter basis, total revenues expanded for the second consecutive quarter. Comprehensive expense discipline continues driving improvement in operating costs and efficiency ratios. Sound asset quality management supported further balance sheet strength and credit cost reductions benefited our bottom line. In addition, retail branch transaction activity increased during the second quarter of 2014 representing positive customer trends and recovery from the harsh winter. 

For the second consecutive year, First Busey Corporation was named by Forbes as one of America's most trustworthy companies. Our associates take great pride in being selected by Forbes as one of America's 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies2  for 2014. This ratings process suggests that its 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies have consistently demonstrated clear and conservative accounting practices and solid corporate governance, management and board supervision. 

Further, Busey Bank was recognized among the Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media, presented by Independent Community Bankers of America in June 2014. Busey Bank was chosen based on engagement with fans and followers, content distributed and frequency of posting new content . 

Our emphasis on maximizing stockholder value was evidenced in the first half of 2014 by the growth in earnings per share and increased quarterly dividend. With our strong capital position, a stable core funding base, and a sound credit foundation, we are actively engaged in growing our Company through both organic and external measures. As we take pride in our past and look confidently towards our future, we thank our associates for their efforts, our customers for their business and you, our shareholders, for your continued support.

/s/ Van A. Dukeman

President & Chief Executive Officer

First Busey Corporation

2 ©2014, Forbes Media LLC. Used with Permission.

SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS1
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
             
  As of and for the As of and for the
  Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
  June 30, March 31, December 31, June 30, June 30, June 30,
  2014 2014 2013 2013 2014 2013
EARNINGS & PER SHARE DATA            
Net income $   8,185  $   7,887  $  6,920  $ 7,440  $  16,072 $ 13,873
Income available to common stockholders2 8,004  7,705  6,012  6,532  15,709  12,057
Revenue3  40,036  39,500  39,062  41,028  79,536  82,252
Fully-diluted earnings per share 0.09  0.09  0.07  0.08 0.18  0.14
Cash dividends paid per share4 0.05  0.04  0.04  0.04  0.09 0.04
             
Net income by operating segment            
Busey Bank  $   7,436  $   7,279  $  6,173  $ 6,487  $   14,715  $ 12,280
Busey Wealth Management  1,401  1,002  1,116  1,133  2,403  1,953
FirsTech 326  309  193  286  635  548
             
AVERAGE BALANCES            
Cash and due from banks $ 239,372 $ 283,358  $ 250,573  $ 326,600 $  261,244 $ 336,732
Investment securities 870,818  822,210  883,120 946,834 846,648 963,036
Gross loans 2,249,786  2,235,314 2,221,183  2,083,296 2,242,590  2,060,332
Earning assets 3,270,335  3,244,780  3,257,957  3,270,472 3,257,628  3,279,556
Total assets 3,523,428  3,507,711 3,529,936  3,544,702 3,515,613 3,551,681
Non-interest bearing deposits 592,066  568,145  541,242 533,816 580,171 528,068
Interest-bearing deposits 2,295,196  2,308,139 2,332,765  2,378,288 2,301,631  2,392,306
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase 134,237  131,645  157,610 133,708 132,948 131,911
Interest-bearing liabilities 2,484,433  2,494,784 2,545,375  2,570,226 2,489,579  2,583,836
Stockholders' equity-common 349,410  345,089  342,912 340,282 347,262 338,926
Tangible stockholders' equity-common5 320,186  315,102  312,169 307,976 317,658 306,228
             
PERFORMANCE RATIOS            
Return on average assets6 0.91% 0.89% 0.68% 0.74% 0.90% 0.68%
Return on average common equity6 9.19% 9.06% 6.96% 7.70% 9.12% 7.17%
Return on average tangible common equity6 10.03% 9.92% 7.64% 8.51% 9.97% 7.94%
Net interest margin6, 7 3.13% 3.13% 3.12% 3.17% 3.13% 3.14%
Efficiency ratio8 64.35% 64.65% 67.61% 64.91% 64.50% 66.87%
Non-interest revenue as a % of total revenues3 37.50% 37.83% 35.99% 38.47% 37.67% 39.42%
             
1  Results are unaudited
2  Net income available to common stockholders, net of preferred dividend
Interest income plus non-interest income, net of interest expense and security gains/losses
The Company accelerated payment of its first quarter 2013 dividend to December 2012 to provide stockholders with certainty as to the tax treatment  
 of such dividend
Tangible stockholders' equity-common, a non-GAAP metric, is defined as average common equity less average goodwill and intangibles
Annualized and calculated on net income available to common stockholders
On a tax-equivalent basis, assuming a federal income tax rate of 35%
Net of security gains and losses and intangible charges
   
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets1 As of
(in thousands, except per share data) June 30, March 31, December 31, June 30,
  2014 2014 2013 2013
Assets        
Cash and due from banks $ 182,032 $ 288,554 $ 231,603 $ 251,204
Investment securities 841,962 854,693 842,144 921,565
Commercial loans 1,737,751 1,683,557 1,751,740 1,580,351
Held for sale loans 20,286 7,046 13,840 40,874
Other loans 566,031 542,029 529,720 537,873
Allowance for loan loss (47,428) (47,426) (47,567) (48,491)
Premises and equipment 64,562 65,029 65,827 69,377
Goodwill and other intangibles 28,778 29,510 30,257 31,824
Other assets 113,475 119,069 122,011 126,812
Total assets $ 3,507,449 $ 3,542,061 $ 3,539,575 $ 3,511,389
         
Liabilities & Stockholders' Equity        
Non-interest-bearing deposits $ 605,346 $578,081 $ 547,531 $ 514,118
Interest checking, savings, and money market deposits 1,718,057 1,789,592 1,739,236 1,725,236
Time deposits 538,125 559,500 582,371 631,582
Total deposits $ 2,861,528 $ 2,927,173 $ 2,869,138 $ 2,870,936
         
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase 140,563 117,238 172,348 148,238
Junior subordinated debt owed to unconsolidated trusts 55,000 55,000 55,000 55,000
Other liabilities 23,591 22,316 27,725 27,185
Total liabilities $ 3,080,682 $ 3,121,727 $ 3,124,211 $ 3,101,359
Total stockholders' equity $ 426,767 $ 420,334 $ 415,364 $  410,030
Total liabilities & stockholders' equity $ 3,507,449 $ 3,542,061 $ 3,539,575 $ 3,511,389
         
Share Data        
Book value per common share $ 4.08 $ 4.00 $ 3.95 $ 3.89
Tangible book value per common share2 $ 3.75 $ 3.66 $ 3.60 $ 3.52
Ending number of common shares outstanding 86,831 86,819 86,804 86,698
 
 
Asset Quality1 As of and for the Three Months Ended
(dollars in thousands) June 30, March 31, December 31, June 30,
  2014 2014 2013 2013
         
Gross loans $ 2,324,068 $ 2,232,632 $ 2,295,300 $ 2,159,098
Non-performing loans        
Non-accrual loans 11,232 14,340 17,164 20,274
Loans 90+ days past due 235 --  195 771
Non-performing loans, segregated by geography        
Illinois/ Indiana 8,273 11,175 13,565 16,030
Florida 3,194 3,165 3,794 5,015
Loans 30-89 days past due 1,766 4,005 6,114 3,683
Other non-performing assets 1,622 1,937 2,133 2,617
Non-performing assets to total loans and non-performing assets 0.56% 0.73% 0.85% 1.09%
Allowance as a percentage of non-performing loans 413.60% 330.73% 274.02% 230.42%
Allowance for loan losses to loans 2.04% 2.12% 2.07% 2.25%
Net charge-offs 998 1,141 1,897 1,282
Provision expense 1,000 1,000 1,500 2,000
         
1 Results are unaudited except for amounts reported as of December 31, 2013
2Total common equity less goodwill and intangibles divided by shares outstanding as of period end
 
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)
  For the For the
  Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
  2014 2013 2014 2013
         
Interest and fees on loans  $  22,437  $ 23,200  $ 44,970  $ 46,161
Interest on investment securities 4,219 4,260  7,937  8,414
Total interest income  $ 26,656  $ 27,460  $ 52,907  $ 54,575
         
Interest on deposits 1,306 1,824  2,668  3,921
Interest on short-term borrowings  35  46  74  99
Interest on long-term debt  --  44  --  125
Junior subordinated debt owed to unconsolidated trusts  294  301 587  602
Total interest expense  $ 1,635  $ 2,215  $ 3,329  $ 4,747
         
Net interest income  $ 25,021  $ 25,245  $ 49,578  $ 49,828
Provision for loan losses 1,000 2,000  2,000  4,000
Net interest income after provision for loan losses  $ 24,021  $ 23,245  $ 47,578  $ 45,828
         
Trust fees 5,080 4,713  10,697  9,921
Commissions and brokers' fees  676  569  1,347  1,109
Fees for customer services 4,729 4,550  8,912  8,716
Remittance processing 2,376 2,085  4,726  4,183
Gain on sales of loans 1,234 2,763  2,215  6,260
Net security gains (losses)  (3)  --  40  --
Other  920 1,103  2,061  2,235
Total non-interest income  $ 15,012  $ 15,783  $ 29,998  $ 32,424
         
Salaries and wages  12,578  12,781  24,827 26,341
Employee benefits 2,386 2,947  5,279  6,174
Net occupancy expense 2,055 2,103  4,298  4,285
Furniture and equipment expense 1,153 1,222  2,357  2,476
Data processing expense 2,687 2,568  5,499  5,207
Amortization expense  733  783  1,480  1,566
Regulatory expense  501  617  1,056  1,263
OREO expense  51  58  71  601
Other operating expenses 4,679 4,722  8,574  9,455
Total non-interest expense  $ 26,823  $ 27,801  $ 53,441  $ 57,368
         
Income before income taxes  $ 12,210  $ 11,227  $ 24,135  $ 20,884
Income taxes 4,025 3,787  8,063  7,011
Net income  $   8,185  $ 7,440  $ 16,072  $ 13,873
Preferred stock dividends  $ 181  $ 908  $   363  $   1,816
Income available for common stockholders  $   8,004  $   6,532  $   15,709  $ 12,057
         
Per Share Data        
Basic earnings per common share  $   0.09  $ 0.08  $ 0.18  $  0.14
Fully-diluted earnings per common share  $   0.09  $ 0.08  $  0.18  $  0.14
Diluted average common shares outstanding  87,263  86,730  87,245 86,717

Corporate Profile

First Busey Corporation (Nasdaq:BUSE) is a $3.5 billion financial holding company headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. Busey Bank, First Busey Corporation's wholly-owned bank subsidiary, is also headquartered in Champaign, Illinois and has twenty-eight banking centers serving Illinois, a banking center in Indianapolis, Indiana, and seven banking centers serving southwest Florida. Trevett Capital Partners, a wealth management division of Busey Bank, provides asset management, investment and fiduciary services to high net worth clients in southwest Florida. The wealth management professionals of Trevett Capital Partners can be reached through trevettcapitalpartners.com. Busey Bank had total assets of $3.5 billion as of June 30, 2014. 

In addition, First Busey Corporation owns a retail payment processing subsidiary, FirsTech, Inc., through Busey Bank, which processes over 22 million transactions per year using online bill payment, lockbox processing and walk-in payments at its 3,100 agent locations in 38 states. More information about FirsTech, Inc. can be found at firstechinc.com.

Busey Wealth Management is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Busey Corporation.  Through Busey Trust Company, Busey Wealth Management provides asset management, investment and fiduciary services to individuals, businesses and foundations.  As of June 30, 2014, Busey Wealth Management's assets under care were approximately $5.1 billion.

Busey Bank and Busey Wealth Management deliver financial services through busey.com.

Special Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This document may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of the Company. Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company's management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "estimate," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should" or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events. A number of factors, many of which are beyond the ability of the Company to control or predict, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in its forward-looking statements. These factors include, among others, the following: (i) the strength of the local and national economy; (ii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning the Company's general business (including the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the extensive regulations to be promulgated thereunder, as well as the rules adopted by the federal bank regulatory agencies to implement Basel III); (iii) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of the Company's assets; (iv) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (v) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (vi) the loss of key executives or employees; (vii) changes in consumer spending; (viii) unexpected results of acquisitions; (ix) unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation involving the Company; (x) the economic impact of any future terrorist threats or attacks; (xi) the economic impact of exceptional weather occurrences such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and blizzards; and (xii) changes in accounting policies and practices. These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including additional factors that could materially affect the Company's financial results, is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Robin N. Elliott, CFO
217-365-4120