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Earnings call: Byline Bancorp surpasses $9B in assets, income rises

EditorAhmed Abdulazez Abdulkadir
Published 04/29/2024, 09:51 PM
Updated 04/29/2024, 09:53 PM
© Reuters.
BY
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Byline Bancorp (NYSE:BY), a growing financial institution, reported robust financial results for the first quarter of 2024, with total assets exceeding $9 billion and stockholders' equity surpassing the $1 billion mark. The company's net income stood at $30.4 million, translating to earnings per share of $0.70. Byline Bancorp's loan and deposit portfolios showed healthy growth, and the firm managed to maintain strong profitability metrics and asset quality. The company's performance was in line with market expectations and demonstrated effective cost management and strategic growth initiatives.

Key Takeaways

  • Byline Bancorp's total assets exceeded $9 billion, with stockholders' equity above $1 billion.
  • Net income for the quarter reached $30.4 million, with earnings per share of $0.70.
  • Loans grew by approximately $100 million, while deposits increased by $173 million.
  • Net interest income was reported at $85.5 million, and non-interest income at $15.5 million.
  • The company announced the consolidation of two branch locations, expected to save $1.1 million annually starting in the third quarter.
  • Credit costs were $6.6 million, and asset quality remained stable with non-performing loans at 1% of total loans.
  • Capital levels were robust, with a CET1 ratio of 10.6% and a total capital ratio of 13.7%.

Company Outlook

  • Byline Bancorp is focused on maintaining and growing net interest income across various interest rate cycles.
  • The company plans to continue its leverage trade as long as it is profitable, with a maturity of one year.
  • Deposit competition has increased costs, but rates remain competitive, primarily in the 5% range or lower.
  • The SBA portfolio has been de-risked over time, though it remains a high-risk segment.

Bearish Highlights

  • Higher interest rates may pose difficulties for borrowers within the SBA loan portfolio, which the company is monitoring closely.
  • Deposit competition has led to higher costs.

Bullish Highlights

  • Non-interest income increased by 7% in the quarter, driven by growth in other non-interest income.
  • Net charge-offs decreased by 49% quarter-over-quarter.
  • The company's loan-to-deposit ratio decreased to 92.5%, reflecting a healthy liquidity position.

Misses

  • There were no significant misses reported in the earnings call.

Q&A Highlights

  • Byline Bancorp has effectively reduced its exposure to interest rate sensitivity by 1% in the last quarter.
  • The leasing business is performing well, and the focus is on originating fixed-rate loans to further mitigate interest rate sensitivity.
  • The security support portfolio is providing attractive cash flows.
  • Credit quality has remained stable with no significant changes in criticized or classified assets.
  • Approaching the $10 billion threshold is seen as less impactful on the company's strategy, which is more focused on organic growth.

In conclusion, Byline Bancorp's first quarter results of 2024 have shown a strong financial performance with significant growth in assets and equity. The company's strategic actions and cost management have positioned it well for continued success in the competitive banking landscape.

InvestingPro Insights

Byline Bancorp's first-quarter performance in 2024 has been commendable, and a deeper dive into the metrics provided by InvestingPro offers additional context for investors. The company's Market Cap stands at a robust $960.53 million, which is indicative of its solid position in the market. Furthermore, the P/E Ratio (Adjusted) for the last twelve months as of Q1 2024 is 8.4, which, when compared to the current P/E Ratio of 7.98, suggests a slight increase in the earnings multiple investors are willing to pay for the company's stock.

InvestingPro Data:

  • Market Cap (Adjusted): $960.53M
  • P/E Ratio (Adjusted) LTM Q1 2024: 8.4
  • Revenue Growth LTM Q1 2024: 19.71%

Investors may also be encouraged by the company's impressive Revenue Growth of 19.71% in the last twelve months leading up to Q1 2024. This growth rate is a strong indicator of Byline Bancorp's ability to increase its earnings and potentially provide value to its shareholders. Additionally, the company's Operating Income Margin of 44.82% highlights its efficiency in converting revenues into actual profit.

InvestingPro Tips:

  • Byline Bancorp's Price to Book ratio of 0.95 suggests that the company's stock might be undervalued, as it trades just below its book value. This could signal a buying opportunity for value investors.
  • The PEG Ratio of 0.61 indicates that the company's stock price is relatively undervalued based on its earnings growth, which could be attractive for growth-oriented investors.

For those interested in further insights and tips on Byline Bancorp, InvestingPro offers additional valuable analysis. Currently, there are 15 more InvestingPro Tips available to help you make informed decisions. Use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, unlocking even more in-depth financial data and investment strategies.

Full transcript - Byline Bancorp Inc (BY) Q1 2024:

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to Byline Bancorp First Quarter 2024 Earnings Call. My name is Belle, and I will be your conference operator today. [Operator Instructions] Please note, the conference call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to introduce Brooks Rennie, Head of Investor Relations for Byline Bancorp to begin. Please go ahead.

Brooks Rennie: Thank you, Belle. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Byline Bancorp’s first quarter 2024 earnings conference call. In accordance with Regulation FD, this call is being recorded and is available via webcast on our Investor Relations website, along with our earnings release and the corresponding presentation slides. As part of today’s call, management may make certain statements that constitute projections, beliefs or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the company. We caution that such statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. The company's risk factors are disclosed and discussed in its SEC filings. In addition, our remarks in slides may reference or contain certain non-GAAP financial measures, which are intended to supplement, but not substitute for, the most directly comparable GAAP measures. Reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the comparable GAAP financial measures can be found within the appendix of the earnings release. For additional information about risks and uncertainties, please see the forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial measures disclosures in the earnings release. As a reminder for investors, the quarter we plan on attending the Stevens Chicago Bank Conference and the Raymond James Chicago Bank Tour. With that, I would now like to turn the conference call over to Alberto Paracchini, President of Byline Bancorp.

Alberto Paracchini: Thank you, Brooks. Good morning and welcome to Byline's first quarter earnings call. We appreciate all of you taking the time to join the call. With me this morning are Chairman Roberto Herencia, our CFO, Tom Bell, and our Chief Credit Officer, Mark Fucinato. In terms of the agenda for today, I'll start with highlights for the quarter followed by Tom, who will walk you through the financials, and then I'll come back and wrap up with some comments before opening the call-off for questions. As a reminder, you can find the deck on our website, and as always, please refer to the disclaimer at the front. Before we get started, I would like to pass the call on to Roberto for some comments. Roberto?

Roberto Herencia: Thank you, Alberto, and good morning, everyone. Before Alberto and the team go over the strong results for the first quarter and a solid start to 2024, I want to touch on a few items. Last week, Mike Scudder celebrated his retirement as Executive Chairman of Old National Bank Corp, which was effective at the end of January. I want to acknowledge Mike for his combined 38 years of outstanding leadership and dedication to First Midwest and Old National, and his contributions outside of the bank to the greater Chicago area. I've had the pleasure of competing and collaborating with Mike over the years, and today we're both trustees at the DePaul University, Mike's alma mater, and where he holds the board leadership position. Mike was always kind enough to call when he was working on his strategic plans for First Midwest to seek input and insights and a new show action from a competitor. Understated and not flashy, Mike is full of content, conviction, and leadership. Best to Mike and his family. In a testament to our own wavering commitment to strategic excellence, our team has once again delivered excellent results this quarter against our own internal measures, against our peer group, and analyst's expectations. We surpassed $9 billion in total assets, and stockholders' equity climbed above $1 billion. In fact, we have been delivering strong results consistently over the last few years. No matter the economic challenges, improving key profitability metrics from the median of the peer group to top quartile. This consistency, a clearly improved performance in both absolute and relative terms, full transparency in our growth strategy, and a really good balance between the short-term rigor of the marketplace, your EPS number, and our long-term aspirations to become the preeminent commercial bank in Chicago should be reflected in higher valuations. But we know the mindset. Some of the folks stick their narrative and just stay with it until they have no choice but to yield to performance. On our end, we will continue to educate and refine the messaging, addressing the foundations of our business segments and how it all comes together year after year, not only on a quarterly basis. We've built something special with considerable runway and optionality. We want the same quality in our analysts and investor base, whom we consider partners. Because as we have been saying, there will be significant opportunities in the Chicago marketplace. For investors willing to do the homework, we believe we offer a compelling proposition. With the proven track record of success, a clear runway ahead of us and unwavering dedication to creating long-term value, we invite you to join us in this journey to become in the pre-eminent commercial bank in Chicago. With that, it's my pleasure to pass the call back to Alberto.

Alberto Paracchini: Thank you, Roberto. And now moving on to the results for the quarter on page three of the deck. Overall, we were very pleased with our performance for the first quarter. Byline had another strong quarter characterized by healthy loan and deposit growth, solid profitability and stable asset quality. The results continue to highlight the strength of our diversified business model, the attractiveness of our franchise and the disciplined execution of our strategy. For the quarter, Byline reported net income of $30.4 million and EPS of $0.70 per diluted share on revenue of $101 million. Results are inclusive of approximately $1 million in charges related to the consolidation of two branches. Diluted EPS for the quarter was two pennies higher than last quarter and $0.06 or 9.4% higher on a year-on-year basis. Profitability and return metrics continue to remain strong across the board. ROA came in at 136 basis points while ROTC remained solid at 15.9%. Pretax preparation income was $47.2 million for the quarter which translated into a strong pretax preparation ROA of 210 basis points. This was the sixth consecutive quarter where the company had pretax preparation ROA above 200 basis points. As I just mentioned, total revenue came in at $101 million which was flat through the prior quarter but up 11% on a year-on-year basis. Net interest income was $85.5 million down marginally from the fourth quarter and up slightly if adjusted for the day-count difference between quarters. Non-interest income was up 6.7% and drove the overall increase. Moving on to the balance sheet, we experienced nice growth in both loans and deposits. Loans increased by approximately $100 million or 6% annualized and stood at $6.8 billion as a quarter end. We continue to see good business development activity with originations coming in at 264 million driven by our commercial banking sponsor and leasing businesses. Total deposits grew by $173 million or 9.7% annualized and stood at $7.4 billion as a quarter end. The strong growth in the deposits is reflective of growth in commercial relationships and our ability to capture our fair share of money and motion in the marketplace. The deposit composition remained relatively stable for the period but we continue to see migration of deposits to higher rate products albeit at a slightly slower pace than last quarter. Deposit cost increased by 12 basis points but given the rate environment competition for the deposits and the attractiveness of higher rate products we continue to expect upward pressure on funding costs. The margin declined 8 basis points to 4% driven by higher funding costs offsetting the increase in asset yields. Tom will provide more color on this shortly but the margin X accretion and adjusted for the impact of a short-term investment opportunity declined by only two basis points to 3.8%. Non-interest income came in at $15.5 million up 6.7% from last quarter. On an operating basis adjusting for the impact of fair value marks and our servicing asset our underlying non-interest income was up 3% quarter-on-quarter. Expenses remained well managed at $53.8 million and the cost to asset ratio was 240 basis points. This was two basis points lower than last quarter and 29 basis points lower on a year-on-year basis highlighting the benefits to scale after the inland transaction. Credit costs came in at $6.6 million and were inclusive of net charge-offs of $6.2 million or 37 basis points, with the resulting net reserve bill driven by loan growth. Asset quality remained stable for the quarter, with NPLs increasing just four basis points to 100 basis points. Our ACL remained healthy at 1.51% of total loans. Capital levels remained strong with a CET ratio of 10.6%, total capital ratio of 13.7%, and TCE of 8.8%, all as of quarter end, consistent with our targeted TCE range of 8% to 9%. With that, I would like to turn over the call to Tom, who'll provide you more detail on our results.

Tom Bell: Thank you, Alberto, and good morning, everyone. Starting with our loan and lease portfolio on slide four, total loans and leases increased about $100 million or 6% annualized and stood at $6.8 million at March 31st. We had strong origination activity for the quarter of $264 million, up 6% compared to a year ago. Payoff activity was slightly lower for the quarter and utilization rates ticked up two basis points driven by draws on existing construction projects. Loans, excluding CRE, increased across all lending categories with the strongest growth coming from our leasing and commercial banking teams. We expect loan growth in the mid-single digits in the coming quarters. Turning to slide five, we drove another quarter of solid deposit growth, notwithstanding seasonal outflows and a $44 million reduction in broker deposits. At quarter end, total deposits stood at $7.4 billion, up $173 million or 10% annualized. The growth was due to increases in time deposits and interest bearing checking accounts, and we experienced growth both in average and end of period balances. The mix continues to moderate as expected with a decelerating pace linked quarter. DDAs as a percentage of total deposits was 25% compared to 27% from the prior quarter. On a cycle-to-date basis, deposit betas grew at a slower pace with total deposits at 47% and interest bearing deposits at 63%. Turning to slide six, net interest income was $85.5 million for Q1, down 1% from last quarter due to day count and in line with guidance. Cumulatively, over the cycle, we have benefited from our asset sensitivity and earning asset growth with NII growing at a 21% CAGR over the past two years. Moving forward, we are focused on reducing asset sensitivity further, primarily from on balance sheet activities that may be supplemented with balance sheet hedges. Our NIM declined by eight basis points to 4%. The margin was impacted by a short term investment position we put on this quarter, whereby we invested $200 million and borrowed the funds from the bank term funding facility. This generates roughly $245,000 in net interest income per quarter, the trade-off being a six basis point reduction in the margin. Accretion on acquired loans declined four basis points to 20 basis points this quarter, and we expect it to continue to gradually decline in future quarters. Earning asset yields increased five basis points driven by higher loan and investment yields. Market expectations for rate kits [ph] have materially changed since the start of the year. Based on the forward curves from mid-April, we estimate our net interest income for Q2 will be in the range of $83 million to $85 million. As a reminder, our goal is to maintain and grow our net interest income over various interest rate cycles. Turning to slide seven, non-interest income stood at $15.5 million in the first quarter, up 7% in the quarter, primarily driven by a $1 million increase in other non-interest income due to an increase in derivatives and gain on sale of leased equipment. The balance of government guaranteed loans sold decreased by $17 million in the first quarter compared to Q4. The net average premium was 9.6%, higher than expected for Q1, primarily due to favorable market conditions and mix of loans sold. Going forward, we expect gain on sale income to be at a level consistent with Q1 results. Turning to slide eight, our non-interest expense was well managed and came in at $53.8 million for the first quarter, flat from the prior quarter and in line with our Q1 guidance of $53 million to $55 million. During the quarter, we announced that we were consolidating two branch locations, which will occur in the second quarter. Our non-interest expense of $53.8 million includes branch consolidation charges of $1.3 million, of which $1.1 million is not included in our adjusted results. Excluding the two branch closures, our core operating expenses were $52.5 million for the quarter. As a result of the closures, our expected annual cost saves is approximately $1.1 million beginning in the third quarter. Looking forward, we maintain our non-interest expense guidance of $53 million to $55 million. On a side note, since the first quarter of 2022, revenue growth has outstripped non-interest expense growth by 5 percentage points per year. Turning to slide nine, the allowance for credit losses at the end of Q1 was $102.4 million, up 1% from the end of the prior quarter. In Q1, we recorded a $6.6 million provision for credit losses compared to $7.2 million in Q4. Net charge-offs were $6.2 million in the first quarter compared to $12.2 million in the previous quarter. This was a 49% decrease linked quarter primarily due to lower charge-offs in C&I and CRE. NPLs to total loans and leases increased by 4 basis points to 1% in Q1. If you look at the bottom left graph, you can see that NPLs were flat quarter-over-quarter when you exclude the government-guaranteed loans. NPAs to total assets decreased by 1 basis point to 73 basis points in Q1. And total delinquencies were $28.6 million on March 31st, down 21% linked quarter. Turning to slide 10, we are very pleased with the progress we have made these past two quarters, lowering our loan-to-deposit ratio to 92.5%, or 85 basis points linked quarter. This quarter, we also repaid ahead of plan $11.3 million of our holding company line of credit borrowing related to the inland transaction, which provides us with $15 million of additional liquidity and lowers our borrowing costs. Moving on to capital on slide 11. Our capital levels continue to grow during the quarter, with our CET1 ratio increasing to 10.6%. Additionally, the TCE to TA ratio was 8.8%, and excluding the balance sheet trade, our TCE ratio would have been approximately 20 basis points higher. As a reminder, 99.9% of our securities are held and available for sale, and therefore our HTM portfolio losses of $7,000 has no impact to our modified TCE ratio. Our liquidity and growing capital levels continue to provide us a strong foundation, which positions us well to grow our business. With that, Alberto, back to you.

Alberto Paracchini: Thank you, Tom. As far as our near-term outlook is concerned, we are positive about our ability to continue to grow the business in the current environment. We continue to see good deal flow and opportunities to increase the business organically. Our pipelines remain healthy, and importantly, we're starting to see the impact that banking teams hired in prior periods have on our results. To that end, we added two additional bankers this past quarter and remain on the lookout for opportunities to further add talented bankers to our franchise. The rate environment remains somewhat challenging for banks as we balance the dynamics of customer preferences, growth, profitability, and competition in the marketplace. That said, given the opportunity set available as we see it, we find the trade-off of adding attractive business and long-term relationships at a marginally higher funding cost in the short run acceptable. Our long-term orientation, coupled with the necessary balance sheet and financial flexibility positions us well to take advantage of opportunities and continue to increase the value of our franchise. Lastly, I'd like to congratulate and thank all our employees for supporting our customers and their contribution to our results this quarter. With that, operator, let's open the call up for questions.

Operator: Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question today comes from the line of David Long from Raymond James. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.

David Long: Thank you. Good morning, everyone.

Tom Bell: Hey, good morning, David.

David Long: I wanted to dig in a little bit more on the deposit side, deposit competition. Here in Chicago, I've been seeing some rates on savings accounts back, approaching the mid 5% level. Again, it looks like the competition's picked up maybe a little bit with the pickup and race recently. You kind of hinted at it, but are you seeing more competition maybe than you did a few months ago? Has that changed? And then where is it coming from? Is it the larger regionals, the community banks? Where do you see most of that competition?

Tom Bell: Sure, hi, Dave. Good morning. Thanks for the question. Generally speaking, we've seen actually competition start to lower rates a little bit. So we are getting some market share, both from the large bank space and then some of the regionals, if you will. The appetite, primarily just given the rate environment, is higher costs, both in CDs and money market accounts. And yes, it's still very competitive, but we're primarily getting stuff done in the 5% range or lower. And I would also add that just given the rate shock that happened last year and some of the liquidity events that we're actually renewing CDs and other products at lower levels today than we did a year ago.

David Long: Got it. Thank you for that color. And then I want to shift gears on the lending side of the equation. It sounds like you guys still have an appetite to lend. You're out in the marketplace bringing in some veteran bankers. What are you seeing in the marketplace with your competitors? Are you seeing lighter competition? What trends are you seeing on the spreads on your new underwritings?

Roberto Herencia: I think in general, I don't know that I necessarily say lighter competition, Dave. I think competition is always there, particularly in, call it core, businesses like commercial banking. There's always competition. I would say we are seeing, and I don't think this is surprising, particularly from larger regionals and super regionals. I think the risk-weighted asset diets, I think we've seen some effect of that. But it's line by line specifically. I don't know that there's anything that I would tell you the competitive dynamics have gotten easier. We still have strong competitors that we compete against on a daily basis. But that being said, to your second part of the question about spreads, I think spreads have remained pretty stable from last quarter. And certainly, I think in general, I think it's competitive but not anything unusual that we're seeing today.

David Long: Got it. Thank you, Alberto, and thanks, Tom, for the first part of the question.

Operator: Our next question today comes from the line of Terry McEvoy from Stephens Inc. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.

Terry McEvoy: Thanks. First off, Roberto, very nice comments on Mike. Much appreciated there. Maybe start with a question for Tom. The net interest income outlook of $83 million to $85 million. The low end of that is the variance there, really the cost of funds. And I guess on that topic, cost of funds were up 14 basis points, quarter-over-quarter. It did slow. Would you expect that trend to continue, just given some of the comments on deposit competition?

Tom Bell: Yes, I think to your question that we are seeing the cost of funds pace continue to slow here. As I mentioned earlier, the renewal rates are coming in lower than the prior rates. So that is helping us. We're still getting some benefit on the earning asset repricing of just legacy loans, repricing. But generally speaking, given the loan growth and the demand for us to continue to kind of bring in more deposits, it's going to be more marginal cost of deposits. We're obviously always going to go after our GDA with our clients. But incrementally, we're going to be probably doing money market in CDs to complement and then try to bring them into the back of the book later on in the future.

Terry McEvoy: Thanks for that, Tom. And then as a follow-up, I think you said, Mark was in the rumor available. Appreciate all the disclosures on office. Maybe get comments on the industrial warehouse and multi-family as well, just larger parts of the CRE portfolio. And if you could discuss trends that you're seeing within those two segments.

Mark Fucinato: Hi, Terry. We haven't seen any real issues with our industrial, portfolio, or warehouses, or multi-family for that matter. We're aware of what's going on in the market. The key will be, again, if we have loans that are maturing in that space. LTVs, and cash flows, and rates, the usual equation would be what we'd be working with our customers on. We haven't had any issues in those particular asset classes at this point in time.

Terry McEvoy: Sounds encouraging. I appreciate that. Thanks for taking my questions.

Mark Fucinato: You bet.

Operator: The next question today comes from the line of Nathan Race from Piper Sandler. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.

Nathan Race: Yes, hi, guys. Good morning. Thanks for taking the questions.

Tom Bell: Morning, Nate.

Nathan Race: Question for Tom, just on the leverage trade that you guys exceeded in the quarter, curious if you could just elaborate on the structure of that, how long you plan on keeping that on, and just how we should just think about that going forward.

Tom Bell: I would, Nate, good, thank you. Hi. We are using that transaction we borrowed from the Fed in the term facility, so it's based primarily on the borrowing costs versus what we can invest in. So we can pay the facility off at any time. It's a one year transaction. So it will not stay on for more than a year, and it's all subject to our investment options. And currently, we're leaving the funds at the Fed. So as long as the transaction has a positive carry for us and creates NII, we'll keep the transaction on.

Alberto Paracchini: Nate, to add to what Tom said, just think of that as really, we just, obviously, we have a fair amount of flexibility in terms of our capital position. So we just looked at that as an opportunity to generate really some amount of net interest income really with essentially zero risk. And as Tom said, I think we'll continue to do that until it's profitable. It has a maturity, though, of one year. So that's really the end date. But for us, that was just being opportunistic and generating some incremental net interest income.

Nathan Race: Got it. Very helpful. And I assume that's factored the continuation of that trades including your guidance for NII and 2Q?

Alberto Paracchini: Yes.

Nathan Race: Okay, great. Changing gears a little bit, just thinking about SBA credit quality going forward. Obviously, there was a prominent SBA lender that had some issues that was announced yesterday, I believe. And I noticed that your SBA specific reserve came down a little bit quarter for quarter. So just curious what you're seeing across that portfolio today. And I understand you guys have de-risked that portfolio over the last several quarters. So just would love to hear an update in terms of what you're seeing in that portfolio that we can't necessarily glean from some of the disclosures.

Alberto Paracchini: Nate, and I'm sure Mark will jump in here as well. But I think to us, I think we've always looked at this business and been pretty consistent in understanding and knowing that this is a higher risk segment of our portfolio. I think we added additional disclosure. Hopefully it was helpful to give you all some perspective in terms of how that business has been, the exposure that we have to that business over time, how it's come down. In the, it's back in, if we think back at 2016, it's come down from around 14.6% of loans to around 6.3% today. That being said, I think over the last, really since COVID, we've really been communicating that this is a part of our portfolio that you always have concerns about because you're dealing with borrowers that are essentially either inexperienced or, they're newer borrowers, they don't have the track record, etcetera. And I think our reserving relative to that comment has been consistent over time. So we feel good about kind of where we are at this point. I think to the comments made by that other institution, I think those are comments that I think hopefully you can tell that we've been highlighting for some time in that, yes, these are borrowers that coming out of COVID are likely going to experience some trouble, particularly given the fact that rates have gone up 500 basis points. That being said, the trend in that portfolio has been pretty stable, but we'll continue to monitor and manage the business accordingly. Mark?

Mark Fucinato: Every couple of weeks, we literally sit down and go through the delinquencies, upcoming events for the customers, any trends in specific parts of the portfolio, what's going on in the workout credits. But again, as Alberto said, the biggest, I think, burden that they're facing is, I mean, a lot of these customers are paying interest rates three times what they were before rates started going up. And that's a heavy load for these smaller companies. They don't have the balance sheets, typically, to work through that, or the ability to put capital into a company. So it's a portfolio we monitor very carefully. But again, if you look back historically, it kind of comes with the territory almost. You're going to have some issues in that portfolio from time to time, and that's why we monitor it so closely, basically every two weeks, we're looking at that book.

Alberto Paracchini: Hopefully that answers, that gives you some color, Nate, on that.

Nathan Race: Yes. Indeed. And then if I could just ask, lastly, just in terms of capital deployment priorities, I imagine you guys will be north of your 9% TC target in pretty short order here. So just curious, in terms of what you're seeing from an acquisition opportunity perspective and the M&A environment remains fairly difficult as it kind of stands today. How are you thinking about perhaps continuing with repurchases going forward?

Alberto Paracchini: Yes, I mean, it's something that, when you think about the hierarchy, Nate, is first and foremost is, continue to support the growth in the core business. We're seeing some decent opportunities organically to grow the business. So first and foremost, we want to have the flexibility to do that. Second, we want to pay a consistent dividend over time. Third would be M&A or other opportunities to grow inorganically. And then lastly, you have the valve of looking at share repurchases. To your question regarding M&A, I think it's a pretty quiet environment. That said, I think we're always, having conversations and looking at potential things that may surface. So I think in summary, I think that's the hierarchy. We just want to always have the flexibility to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they come.

Nathan Race: Okay, great. I appreciate all the color. Thank you guys. Nice quarter.

Alberto Paracchini: You bet.

Operator: The next question today comes from the line of Damon DelMonte from KBW. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.

Damon DelMonte: Hey, good morning, guys. Hope everybody's doing well today. Just curious, do you guys have a projection for CRE maturities over the course of the next few quarters?

Alberto Paracchini: Damon, we haven't disclosed specifically, but I would say generally speaking, I think if you look at our CRE, office exposure is around $205 million. I would say probably, 40% of that or so really is a 2024 event. And we're pretty much well ahead of kind of where those loans and what those maturities are. And the rest are just, I would say, sprinkled out in 2025, 2026 and beyond without any real material concentration in any one year.

Damon DelMonte: Got it, okay. And is the, kind of the rate reset for those, have you guys done like internal background work to kind of stress out the borrowers to see how they would react to the higher rates today and kind of game plan to take an appropriate action leading up to that?

Alberto Paracchini: I think that's part and parcel to what Mark and his team and the business units do and monitoring the portfolio. So absolutely, Damon.

Damon DelMonte: Okay, great. Thank you. And then just to circle back on the BTFP leverage that you put on, what was the total dollar amount of that and what period? What part of the quarter did it come on?

Tom Bell: 200 million and it came on in January.

Damon DelMonte: Okay, so we have a full, full quarter impact here this quarter then. Okay. And then just lastly, as we think about provisioning and kind of charge-off needs, you guys still feel like net charge-off will still be in that, you know, call it 35 to 45 basis point range for the next few quarters and provision should be supportive of that to maintain a relatively flat loan loss reserve. Is that a fair way to think about that?

Alberto Paracchini: That's a fair way. I think obviously continuing on loan growth in that regard also Damon and I think as we stated also for the underlying business, I think we're comfortable with that statement. But as you know, we have some PCD loans as we have opportunities to work those assets out. We will certainly highlight those. But if we had those are marked assets and if we have an opportunity to get out of them at exit prices that make sense, we will look to take advantage of that. So I just that's just an additional caveat to your question.

Damon DelMonte: Got it. Okay. Thank you. That's all that I had. Appreciate it. Thanks.

Operator: [Operator Instructions] Our next question today comes from the line of Brian Martin from Janney Montgomery Scott. Please go ahead. Your line is now open.

Brian Martin: Hey, good morning guys. Nice quarter morning. Say just maybe one just for maybe for Tom, maybe just pick picture. You mentioned that you're you may be taking steps to reduce the asset sensitivity. And I think you previously talked about maybe a $3 million number for 25 basis point cuts. Just kind of wondering how -- what you're planning to do on the potential to put some heads down or reduce the sensitivity or just kind of you can give us some thought of how you're thinking about that.

Tom Bell: Yes, sure, Brian. Thank you. I think a couple things. One, you have to recognize the rates in the middle of the curve are up about 100 basis points. So, we obviously weren't going to do any hedges in that lower rate environment. I think now it can make more sense. We'll still have to see how the data comes out and what the Fed does here, but we're asset sensitive. So we've benefited from the rate up movement and then we just think that we're trying to get -- I don't know that we'll ever get to neutral, but we'd love to be at neutral at some point and just earn our spread and go home. But in the deck on page six, we kind of have our sensitivity for rates down And we've been able to bring down the sensitivity just from organic things. We're doing on the balance sheet And I think that's primarily our focus right now.

Brian Martin: Okay, and I guess specifically on the organic side, I guess so there the actions you expect to maybe be able to reduce it by I guess what specifically is anything you can talk about that you are planning to do that will lower that?

Tom Bell: I mean, we brought it down about 1% from the last quarter and so obviously our leasing business is doing very well. That's fixed rate nature product We like to spread on that transaction for us and that's a short term, cash flow transaction three years typically. So that's one area obviously any, fixed rate loans that we do either in CRE or commercial will help us as well. And then we obviously have the security support portfolio the cash flow is running off of that. I mean security investments, is not a core business, but for liquidity reasons and also just given where spreads are that looks more attractive today than it did say three months ago. So there's opportunities to at least for sure replace cash flows and potentially add to the position if needed.

Alberto Paracchini: Yes, I think Brian to add to what Tom said there I think generally it's really looking to take advantage to a degree that we can That we can originate well-structured rate protected fixed rate loans. I think we would look to do that and that's really the primary tool on the on the balance sheet side.

Brian Martin: Okay, and just curious. I mean the mix of what you're originating today in terms of variable versus fixed. What's the proportion? Is it more variable and I guess is that what's worth that today and you're shifting that?

Tom Bell: Yes, it was 70-30-ish kind of and we're moving towards more 50-50.

Brian Martin: Got you. Okay. Perfect. Thanks for the color. And then maybe just one for Mark on, I guess, from a credit perspective, any change in the quarter from a criticized perspective or kind of special mention credits? I know you talked about classified, but just any, it doesn't sound like there's much movement there, but just wanted to confirm that.

Mark Fucinato: No, there hasn't been a lot of movement in the stats, whether it's criticized, classified, etcetera. It's been pretty flat. Obviously, we're hoping to do better.

Brian Martin: Got you. Okay. And then maybe just one last one for Roberto. I guess just, I think you, I don't know if you've talked about this recently, but just with getting the $9 billion and closing in on $10 billion, just kind of how you're thinking about that in terms of, if and when you do consider, I think last quarter you talked a little bit about the M&A being more interested. Just wondering how you're thinking about that in terms of the $10 billion threshold and is that a focus on potential targets you may be considering?

Alberto Paracchini: I don't know that we would say, Brian. Go ahead, Roberto. No, go ahead.

Roberto Herencia: Yes. So, and feel free to chime in. But we, as you know, our strategy has organic focused and obviously we'll take it. Inorganic has always been part of the strategy as long as it is within the parameters that we've described to you before. We're going to cross that $10 billion threshold, right? Organically, I mean, you can see it happening right in 2025. We're not going to change our M&A strategy because of the $10 billion threshold. And as we've shared with you previously, we're not a consumer oriented bank. So, the impact from the interchange fee, while there is some impact, it's not what banks that have robust consumer businesses will be, right? It's going to be a smaller impact on us. So, it's not the driver, right? We need to continue to execute on the organic opportunities that we have in front. Of course, we're going to be smart about that $10 billion line, but it really does not consume our thinking. We're much more focused on executing on our plans. And if there are some opportunities on the inorganic front that help us cross that threshold in a way that is more efficient, great. But if not, it is not. We're not worried about that, right? The opportunities will come when they come. And the $10 billion threshold is just a demarcation point. And having had the experience of crossing that before with other institutions, right? We are focused on working internally and being prepared for the higher regulatory scrutiny that occurs after you've crossed $10 billion.

Alberto Paracchini: Well said.

Brian Martin: Thank you for taking it. Yes, well said. Thank you, Roberto. And thanks for taking the questions, guys. I appreciate it.

Roberto Herencia: You bet.

Operator: Thank you for your questions today. I will now turn the call back over to Mr. Alberto Paracchini for any closing remarks.

Alberto Paracchini: Great. Thank you, operator. And we'd like to thank all of you for joining the call today. And I think that wraps up the call for this morning. Thank you.

Operator: This concludes today's call. Thank you all for your participation. You may now disconnect.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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