ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 27, 2021 — HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBI) (“Company”), the holding company of HomeTrust Bank (“Bank”), today announced preliminary net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and an increase in its quarterly dividend.
For the quarter ended September 30, 2021 compared to the corresponding quarter in the previous year:
- net income was $10.5 million, compared to $5.8 million;
- diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) was $0.65, compared to $0.35;
- annualized return on assets (“ROA”) was 1.20%, compared to 0.62%;
- annualized return on equity (“ROE”) was 10.62%, compared to 5.74%;
- provision for credit losses was a net benefit of $1.5 million, compared to a provision of $950,000;
- noninterest income increased $1.7 million, or 19.8% to $10.4 million from $8.6 million;
- 376,435 shares of Company common stock were repurchased during the quarter at an average price of $27.71 per share;
- organic net loan growth, which excludes U.S. Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans and purchases of home equity lines of credit, was $9.7 million, or 1.5% annualized compared to $10.4 million, or 1.6% annualized; and
- organic net commercial loan growth, which excludes SBA PPP loans, was $37.0 million, or 7.7% annualized compared to $33.7 million, or 7.6% annualized.
In addition to the improvements in the provision for credit losses and noninterest income discussed above, earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2021 was positively impacted by a $2.2 million, or 8.6% increase in net interest income driven by lower borrowing costs.
The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per common share, reflecting a $0.01, or 12.5% increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. This is the third increase of the quarterly dividend since the Company initiated cash dividends in November 2018. The dividend is payable on December 2, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 18, 2021.
“We are very pleased to report a 1.20% annualized ROA and 10.62% annualized ROE for the current quarter as our profitability improvement plan and balance sheet restructuring begins to positively impact our financial results,” said Dana Stonestreet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our plan announced last quarter included branch closures, paying off our remaining long-term borrowings, and bringing our back-office SBA loan servicing process in-house. In July 2021, we transitioned our SBA loan servicing process in-house and in September 2021 we successfully completed all nine previously announced branch closures. Our tax-equivalent net interest margin increased to 3.41% from 3.00% for the same quarterly period last year as interest expense decreased due to the early payoff of all of our longer-term borrowings. Again, we were able to release reserves this quarter with a $1.5 million benefit for credit losses resulting from some improvements in projected credit losses since last quarter. As all our diversified lines of business mature, we are well positioned to continue building a higher performing community bank, leading to greater shareholder value.
In addition, for the second year in a row, HomeTrust Bank has been named Best Small Bank in North Carolina by Newsweek. I congratulate our teammates who have made this achievement possible. While we continue to focus on excellence in both customer-facing roles and customer support, we also offer enhanced digital capabilities to meet the needs of our customers for the future.”
Loan Programs. During the previous quarter ended June 30, 2021, the Company completed its origination participation in the SBA PPP as the program came to an end. As of September 30, 2021, PPP loans totaled $28.8 million, which included $611,000 in net deferred fees that will be accreted into interest income over the remaining life of the loans. If the loans are forgiven, these fees will be accelerated into income at that time. For the three months ended September 30, 2021, the Company earned $424,000 in fees through accretion, including some accelerated accretion resulting from loan forgiveness. The Company has worked with the SBA and its customers to forgive a total of $82.5 million in PPP loans during its participation in the program.
Loan Modifications. As of September 30, 2021, the Company had $1.0 million in loans with full principal and interest payment deferrals related to COVID-19 compared to $107,000 at June 30, 2021. Substantially all loans placed on full payment deferral during the pandemic have come out of deferral and borrowers are either making regular loan payments or interest-only payments through the end of calendar year 2021. As of September 30, 2021, the Company had $67.8 million in commercial loan deferrals on interest-only payments compared to $78.9 million at June 30, 2021.
Income Statement Review
Net interest income increased by $2.2 million, or 8.6% to $27.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, compared to $25.5 million for the comparative quarter in fiscal 2021. Interest and dividend income decreased by $1.1 million, or 3.8%, primarily driven by lower average balances on loans and commercial paper combined with lower yields. Average interest-earning assets decreased $187.4 million, or 5.4% to $3.3 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. The average balance of total loans receivable decreased by $55.7 million, or 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year primarily due to the decrease in PPP loans outstanding. The average balance of commercial paper and deposits in other banks decreased $146.6 million, or 34.6% as the Company used excess liquidity to reduce borrowings between the periods, primarily during the quarter ended June 30, 2021. The average balance of other interest-earning assets decreased $17.2 million, or 44.2% driven by a decrease in Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) stock due to the reduction in FHLB borrowings, and an increase in Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) investments resulting in higher rates earned for the current period. Net interest margin (on a fully taxable-equivalent basis) for the three months ended September 30, 2021 increased to 3.41% from 3.00% for the same period a year ago as all higher rate long-term borrowings were repaid during the quarter ended June 30, 2021.
Total interest and dividend income decreased $1.1 million, or 3.8% for the three months ended September 30, 2021 as compared to the same period last year, which was primarily a result of a $697,000, or 2.4% decrease in loan interest income, a $550,000, or 62.4% decrease in interest income from commercial paper and deposits in other banks, partially offset by a $107,000, or 23.9% increase in other investment income. The lower interest income in each category was primarily driven by the decrease in average balances, discussed above. In addition, average loan yields decreased 5 basis points to 3.97% for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 from 4.02% in the corresponding quarter last year. Average yields on commercial paper and deposits in other banks decreased 36 basis points to 0.47% for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 from 0.83% in the corresponding quarter last year. Average yields on securities available for sale decreased 49 basis points to 1.50% for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 from 1.99% in the corresponding quarter last year. The overall average yield on interest-earning assets increased four basis points to 3.61% for the current quarter compared to 3.57% in the same quarter last year primarily due to the change in mix of interest-earning assets, as excess liquidity was used to repay long-term borrowings and reduce short-term interest-earning assets with lower yields.
Total interest expense decreased $3.3 million, or 67.7% for the three months ended September 30, 2021 compared to the same period last year. The decrease was driven by a $1.7 million, or 51.7% decrease in interest expense on deposits and a $1.7 million, or 98.5% decrease in interest expense on borrowings. Average interest-bearing deposits for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 increased $29.7 million, or 1.3%, which was more than offset by the 30 basis point decrease in the cost of deposits, down to 0.27% compared to 0.57% in the same period last year. Average borrowings for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 decreased $419.5 million, or 88.3% along with a 124 basis point decrease in the average cost of borrowings compared to the same period last year. The increase in average deposits (interest and noninterest-bearing) was due to successful deposit gathering campaigns and funds from PPP loans and other government stimulus. The decrease in the average cost of borrowings was primarily driven by the early retirement of long-term borrowings reducing the average balance and partially driven by a shift to short-term borrowings at lower rates. The overall average cost of funds decreased 45 basis points to 0.27% for the current quarter compared to 0.72% in the same quarter last year due primarily to the impact of lower rates.
Noninterest income increased $1.7 million, or 19.8% to $10.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021 from $8.6 million for the same period in the previous year primarily due to a $713,000, or 21.3% increase in gain on sale of loans, a $505,000, or 106.5% increase in loan income and fees, a $275,000, or 13.1% increase in service charges and fees on deposit accounts, and a $215,000, or 16.2% increase in operating lease income. The increase in gain on the sale of loans was driven by an increase in gains from sales of SBA loans in the current period as this line of business improves from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, $63.8 million of residential mortgage loans originated for sale which were sold with gains of $2.1 million compared to $96.0 million sold and gains of $2.2 million in the corresponding quarter in the prior year. There were $14.4 million of the guaranteed portion of SBA commercial loans sold with gains of $1.7 million in the current quarter compared to $15.1 million sold and gains of $1.0 million in the corresponding quarter in the prior year. In addition, $47.4 million of home equity loans were sold during the quarter ended September 30, 2021 for a gain of $267,000 compared to $20.0 million sold and gains of $100,000 in the corresponding quarter. The $505,000, or 106.5% increase in loan income and fees was primarily a result of $313,000 in additional loan servicing fees from bringing the Company’s SBA loan servicing process in-house beginning July 1, 2021 and $257,000 in additional prepayment fee income from our equipment finance line of business during the current quarter. Other increases in noninterest income were primarily driven by an increase in customer spending as a result of economic recovery from the pandemic.
Noninterest expense of $26.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021 was unchanged compared to the same period last year. An increase of $380,000, or 116.9% in marketing and advertising was partially offset by a decrease of $367,000, or 8.6% in other noninterest expense primarily driven by lower depreciation expense on operating lease equipment for the three months ended September 30, 2021 compared to the same period last year.
For the three months ended September 30, 2021, the Company’s income tax expense increased $1.6 million to $3.0 million from $1.4 million as a result of greater taxable income. The effective tax rates for the three months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 were 22.0% and 20.1%, respectively.
Balance Sheet Review
Total assets and liabilities both decreased by $43.4 million down to $3.5 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, at September 30, 2021 as compared to June 30, 2021. The decrease in assets was primarily driven by a cumulative decrease of $44.9 million, or 18.1% in cash and cash equivalents, certificates of deposit in other banks, and debt securities available for sale, and a $13.6 million, or 0.5% decrease in loans receivable as the Company redirected its excess liquidity to continue paying down borrowings during the period. These decreases were partially offset by a $11.6 million, or 12.4% increase in loans held for sale primarily related to additional SBA commercial loans, one-to-four family residential mortgage loans and home equity loans originated for sale during the period, and a $7.1 million, or 3.7% increase in commercial paper.
Total loans decreased $13.6 million, or 0.5% to $2.7 billion at September 30, 2021 from the balance at June 30, 2021. The decrease was driven by PPP forgiveness of $18.3 million and a $32.7 million, or 4.3% decrease in retail consumer loans resulting from a reduction in one-to-four family loans and indirect auto finance loans. This decrease was partially offset by a $37.0 million, or 1.9% increase in commercial loans (excluding PPP loans) as the Company continues its focus on the growth of this loan segment.
Stockholders’ equity remained at $396.5 million at September 30, 2021 as compared to June 30, 2021. Increases within stockholders’ equity including $10.5 million in net income and $1.1 million in stock-based compensation and stock option exercises were offset by repurchases of 376,435 shares of common stock at an average cost of $27.71, or approximately $10.4 million and $1.3 million related to cash dividends declared. As of September 30, 2021, the Bank was considered “well capitalized” in accordance with its regulatory capital guidelines and exceeded all regulatory capital requirements.
The allowance for credit losses was $34.4 million, or 1.27% of total loans, at September 30, 2021 compared to $35.5 million, or 1.30% of total loans, at June 30, 2021. The allowance for credit losses to total gross loans excluding PPP loans was 1.28% at September 30, 2021, compared to 1.32% at June 30, 2021. The overall decrease was largely driven by lower expected credit losses estimated by management based on an improving economic outlook.
Provision for credit losses was a net benefit of $1.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, compared to a $950,000 provision for the corresponding period in fiscal year 2021. Net loan recoveries totaled $273,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2021, compared to net charge-offs of $699,000 for the same period last year. Net recoveries as a percentage of average loans were (0.04)% for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 compared to net charge-offs of 0.10% for the corresponding quarter last year.
Nonperforming assets decreased by $6.0 million, or 47.0% to $6.8 million, or 0.19% of total assets at September 30, 2021 compared to $12.8 million, or 0.36% of total assets at June 30, 2021. The significant decrease from last quarter was primarily a result of the payoff of two commercial real estate loan relationships totaling $5.1 million. Nonperforming assets included $6.7 million in nonaccruing loans and $45,000 in REO at September 30, 2021, compared to $12.6 million and $188,000 in nonaccruing loans and REO, respectively, at June 30, 2021. Included in nonperforming loans are $930,000 of loans restructured from their original terms of which $186,000 was current at September 30, 2021, with respect to their modified payment terms. Nonperforming loans to total loans was 0.25% at September 30, 2021 and 0.46% at June 30, 2021.
The ratio of classified assets to total assets decreased to 0.65% at September 30, 2021 from 0.76% at June 30, 2021. Classified assets decreased to $22.5 million at September 30, 2021 compared to $26.7 million at June 30, 2021 primarily due to the payoff of two commercial real estate loan relationships discussed above. The Company’s overall asset quality metrics continue to demonstrate its commitment to growing and maintaining a loan portfolio with a moderate risk profile; however, the Company will remain diligent in its review of the portfolio and overall economy as it continues to maneuver through the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and rising inflation.
About HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc.
HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for the Bank. As of September 30, 2021, the Company had assets of $3.5 billion. The Bank, founded in 1926, is a North Carolina state chartered, community-focused financial institution committed to providing value added relationship banking with over 30 locations as well as online/mobile channels. Locations include: North Carolina (including the Asheville metropolitan area, the “Piedmont” region, Charlotte, and Raleigh/Cary), Upstate South Carolina (Greenville), East Tennessee (including Kingsport/Johnson City/Bristol, Knoxville, and Morristown) and Southwest Virginia (including the Roanoke Valley).
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements often include words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and “intend” or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may.” Forward-looking statements are not historical facts but instead represent management’s current expectations and forecasts regarding future events, many of which are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company’s control. Actual results may differ, possibly materially, from those currently expected or projected in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements include: the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on the Company’s credit quality and business operations, as well as its impact on general economic and financial market conditions and other uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the extent and duration of the impact on public health, the U.S. and global economies, and consumer and corporate customers, including economic activity, employment levels and market liquidity; increased competitive pressures; changes in the interest rate environment; changes in general economic conditions and conditions within the securities markets; legislative and regulatory changes; and other factors described in HomeTrust’s latest annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission – which are available on their website at www.htb.com and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These risks could cause the Company’s actual results for fiscal 2022 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements by, or on behalf of, the Company and could negatively affect its operating and stock performance. Any of the forward-looking statements that the Company makes in this press release or the documents they file with or furnish to the SEC are based upon management’s beliefs and assumptions at the time they are made and may turn out to be wrong because of inaccurate assumptions they might make, because of the factors described above or because of other factors that they cannot foresee. The Company does not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements.
Dana L. Stonestreet – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
C. Hunter Westbrook – President and Chief Operating Officer
Tony J. VunCannon – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer