Financial Institutions (FISI) Tops Q3 EPS by 26c

October 29, 2020 5:07 PM

Financial Institutions (NASDAQ: FISI) reported Q3 EPS of $0.74, $0.26 better than the analyst estimate of $0.48.

President and Chief Executive Officer Martin K. Birmingham stated, “The past seven months have tested us, and I am proud to say that my teammates have responded extraordinarily well in continuing to deliver positive results for our customers, communities and shareholders. We generated record pre-tax pre-provision income in the quarter, driven by growth in net interest income, our diversified revenue streams and disciplined expense management.

“We continue to prudently lend and experienced 5.4% growth in our commercial mortgage portfolio, 2.0% growth in residential real estate loans and 1.5% growth in consumer indirect loans. Relationship managers are working closely with customers to assist with their needs and to ensure that we understand trends in our markets across all operating sectors. We continue to benefit from a stable Western New York economy and experienced low net charge-offs in the second and third quarters of 2020. Consistent with our cautiously optimistic outlook, we did increase the allowance for credit losses - loans to total loans ratio by five basis points.

“Re-entry plans are being implemented and we continue to monitor external COVID-19 indicators in our footprint to help guide decisions on future re-entry or closure to keep customers and associates safe. Additional associates are now working in our corporate offices; however, we expect to maintain occupancy levels in these locations at approximately 50% for the foreseeable future.

“I want to thank our associates for their tireless work to help our customers and communities impacted by COVID-19. Despite significant uncertainty and challenges, they continue to adapt and find innovative ways to work more efficiently and effectively. I am incredibly proud of our organization.”

Chief Financial Officer Justin K. Bigham added, “Net interest margin remained relatively constant at 3.22%, down one basis point from the linked quarter, despite a heightened Federal Reserve interest-earning cash balance and the full quarter impact of low-yielding Payroll Protection Program loans.

“We continue to focus on expense discipline. Third quarter expenses include non-recurring severance and real estate related restructuring charges of approximately $1.6 million in connection with the July announcement of branch closures and staffing reductions. Excluding these non-recurring expenses, the efficiency ratio for the quarter was just under 57%.

“Subsequent to quarter-end, we took advantage of the low interest rate environment and issued $35 million of 10-year fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes. While we were confident that we had appropriate capital levels to effectively run our business, we determined that it would be prudent to access the debt markets at favorable rates to add capital for use in serving our customers, taking advantage of growth opportunities, and strengthening the Bank’s capital ratios. We also deemed it wise to add capital given uncertainty around long-term impacts of the global pandemic.”

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