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Trustco Bank Corp (NASDAQ:TRST)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Oct 22, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day and welcome to the TrustCo Bank Corp Earnings Call and Webcast. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] Before proceeding, we would like to mention that this presentation may contain forward-looking information about TrustCo Bank Corp New York that is intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor and forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and trends could differ materially from those set forth in such statements due to various risks, uncertainties and other factors. More detailed information about these and other risk factors can be found in our press release that preceded this call and in the Risk Factors and Forward-Looking Statements section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and as updated by our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

The statements are valid only as of the date hereof and the company disclaims any obligation to update this information, except as may be required by applicable law. Today's presentation contains non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of such measures to the most comparable GAAP figures are included in our earnings press release, which is available on the Investor Relations tab of our website at trustcobank.com. Please also note, today's event is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference call over to Mr. Robert J McCormick, Chairman, President, and CEO. Please go ahead.

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you and good morning, everyone. As the host said, I'm Rob McCormick, President of the Bank. As usual, I'm joined by Mike Ozimek and Scot Salvador. Mike is our CFO and Scot is our Senior Lending Officer. As we have done in the past, I'll provide a summary, hitting the highlights. Then turn it over to Mike for a lot of detail on the numbers and Scott will go over the loan portfolio, we will respond to any questions you have, then we can wrap it up.

We had a very solid third quarter at the bank, our $16.8 million net income was a record for us and is over 19% greater than the same quarter last year. Assets at the end of the quarter were $6,135 million greater than last quarter and the same quarter last year. The increase in assets is driven by our loan growth in our residential portfolio. Commercial loans were down as a result of the PPP forgiveness. Home equity loans are much less than prior periods. As we have discussed on this call before, we believe the run-off is being captured in our residential portfolio and we're also working this product a little bit harder with some new programs to encourage new and additional borrowings.

Installment loans have never been material at the bank. We have a large cash position in a substantial investment portfolio with pretty short maturities. We maintain both in anticipation of and preparation for a changing rate environment. We like a lot of companies have had tremendous deposit growth. This has afforded us the opportunity to shake off some of the higher cost time deposits with nice growth in the traditional core accounts and money market. We were able to increase our equity to over $586 million.

Our loan portfolio is performing very well. Non-performing loans to total loans is at 0.46% and nonperforming assets to total assets are at 0.34%. Both have improved over prior periods. Our allowance for loan losses to total loans was 1.08% with a coverage ratio of 2.3 times and that is after recovering $2.8 million from the reserve. We are prepared for CECL implementation next year. Return on average assets, equity and our efficiency ratio all showed improvement over the period. We continue to pay our healthy dividend.

We are operating a 147 full service offices after closing one and opening Palm Coast in Florida. We are having the same labor difficulties as most. We are exploring loan production offices and plan to open one in Naples, Florida. This is much a longer-term strategy. We also have worked to expand our lending areas to neighboring counties in a few areas. We continue to operate a full service Financial Services Department.

Now, I'll turn it over to Mike and Scott who have a lot more detail, Mike.

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Rob and good morning, everyone. I will now review TrustCo's financial results for the third quarter of 2021. As we noted in the press release, the company saw a net income of $16.8 million in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 19.1% over the prior year quarter, which yielded a return on average assets and average equity of 1.08% and 11.40% respectively. Average loans for the third quarter of '21 grew 4.2%, $176.4 million to $4.4 billion from the third quarter of 2020. As expected, the growth continues to be concentrated within our primary lending focus, the residential real estate portfolio, which increased by $218.2 million or 5.9% in the third quarter of '21 over the same period in 2020.

The average commercial loan portfolio decreased $20.7 million or 8.9% over the same period in 2020. This included approximately $23 million of new PPP loans originated in '21. The bank currently has approximately $21 million of remaining SBA PPP loans. Total average investment securities, which include the AFS and HTM portfolios increased $19.2 million or 4.3% during the third quarter of '21 over the same period in 2020. During the same period, the bank had three securities call at a total par value of $20 million, one security matured at a par value of $3.5 million and approximately $28 million of pooled securities were paid down. During the same period, the bank also purchased approximately $4.1 million of securities.

Provision for loan loss for the third quarter was a credit of $2.8 million, a decrease compared to the $1 million provision for loan loss in the same period in 2020. As you may remember, during 2020, management increased certain allowance related qualitative factors based on its assessment of the impact of the current pandemic on economic conditions, as well as the perceived risks inherent to specific industries as they relate to the bank's loan portfolio. The decrease during the third quarter of '21 was primarily the result of an adjustment made to pandemic specific provision.

The ratio of the allowance for loan losses to total loans was 1.08% as of September 30, '21 compared to 1.17% as of the same period in 2020. The level of the provision for loan losses in the remainder of '21 will continue to reflect the overall growth in our loan portfolio and economic conditions in our geographic footprint. As mentioned in prior quarters, to support our borrowers experiencing economic hardships, the bank launched a COVID-19 financial relief program and included loan modifications such as deferments on residential and commercial loans by request. As of September 30, '21, the banks saw most of these loan deferments return to making regular loan payments.

As mentioned in the prior quarters, the bank did not adopt CECL, as was originally provided by the CARES Act and is a part of the COVID-19 relief bill signed in December 2020, the bank will adopt CECL on January 1, 2022. The company expects to remain a well-capitalized financial institution under current regulatory calculations. As discussed in prior calls, our focus continues to be on traditional lending and conservative balance sheet management, which has continued to enable us to produce consistent high-quality reoccurring earnings.

Our investment portfolio is and has always been a source of liquidity to fund loan growth and provide flexibility for balance sheet management. As a result, we held an average of $1.2 billion of overnight investments during the third quarter of '21, an increase of $228.6 million compared to the same period in 2020. Given the elevated level of cash in '21, the bank did invest some excess liquidity into the market during the beginning of the year. On the funding side of the balance sheet, total average deposits increased $348.2 million or 7.1% for the third quarter of '21 over the same period a year earlier.

The increase in deposits was a result of $56.3 million or 8.3% increase in average money market deposits, a $207.6 million or 17% increase in average savings deposits of $129.4 million or 12.6% increase in interest bearing checking account averages and a $157.9 million or 25% increase in average non-interest bearing checking balances. These were partially offset by the decrease in average time deposits of $202.9 million or 15% over the same period last year. During the same period, our cost of total of interest bearing deposits decreased 14 basis points from 52 basis points. This was primarily driven by a decrease in money market deposits to 11 basis points from 37 basis points in time deposits to 40 basis points from 139 basis points over the same period last year.

As we move into the fourth quarter of '21 additional opportunities continue to exist as CDs reprice to lower market rates. With that said, the bank has approximately $524 million in CDs that will mature at an average rate of 42 basis points. In the first quarter of 2022, approximately $254 million in CDs will mature at an average rate of 40 basis points. In the first half of '22, approximately $418 million of CDs will mature at an average rate of 36 basis points. Our Financial Services division continues to be a significant recurring source of non-interest income. We had approximately $1.1 billion of assets under management as of September 30, '21.

Now on to noninterest expense. Total non-interest expense, net of ORE expense came in at $24.7 million, down $835,000 compared to the second quarter of '21 and slightly below our estimated range of $24.9 million to $25.4 million salary and benefit expense is now $494,000 due to the overall decrease in FTEs and effect of the lower stock price and benefit accruals. ORE expense came in -- net came in at expense of $32,000 for the quarter as compared to an income of $60,000 in the prior quarter. Given the continued low level of ORE expenses, we're going to continue to hold the anticipated level of expenses to not exceed $350,000 per quarter.

All the other categories in non-interest expense were in line with our expectations for the third quarter. We do expect the 2021s total reoccurring noninterest expense, net of ORE expense to remain in the range of $24.9 million to $25.4 million per quarter. Efficiency ratio in the third quarter of '21 came in at 55.82% compared to 53.61% in the third quarter of 2020. We have always been proud of expense control of TrustCo Bank and we expect this to continue throughout 2021 and beyond.

And finally the capital ratios. Consolidated equity to assets ratio increased slightly, it was 9.56% at the end of third quarter, up 11 basis points from 9.45% from the second quarter of '21. The bank continues to be proud of its ability to increase shareholder value during these challenging economic times. Book value per share at September 30, '21 was $30.50, up 5.1% compared to $29.03 a year earlier. These amounts are adjusted for the reverse stock split, which occurred in the second quarter of 2021.

Now Scot will review the loan portfolio and nonperforming loans.

Scot R. Salvador -- Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer

Thanks, Mike, and good morning, everybody. For the third quarter, the bank continue to record strong loan growth. Overall loans increased by $47 million in actual numbers or 1.1%. Year-over-year loans increased by $182 million or 4.3%. The residential portfolio show growth of $56 million in the quarter. Year-over-year growth totaled $210 million in residential loans or 5.3%. Commercial loans decreased by $9 million on the quarter, which includes ongoing pay downs on the bank's SBA PPP program. Residential real estate remains active in all our market areas.

The results of increased prices and lowered inventory levels has hampered some of the individual borrowers and their ability to find and secure home for purchase. However, overall, the demand for purchase money remains at satisfactory levels. On the refinance side of things, activity is down significantly from where it stood a year ago at this point. Mortgage rates do remain low, however, and though down from last year's frantic pace, there still remains an elevated degree of refinance activity. While the refinance has continued to decrease to still lower levels, the near term is uncertain and largely dependent upon where the mortgage rates begin to increase to some significant degree.

Our mortgage backlog has come down approximately 10% since the second quarter. It remains solid overall, however, and contains a good amount of new money. We are pleased with where we stand entering the fourth quarter and optimistic about continuing the post satisfactory net loan growth. Interest rates, although having ticked up slightly of late, continue to remain at low levels. Currently, our 30-year fixed-rate stands at 3% in a quarter. Asset quality measurements remain strong. On the quarter, nonperforming loans dropped from $20.8 million to $20.2 million and nonperforming assets decreased from $21.1 million to $20.7. Year-over-year, slightly larger decreases were posted in both categories.

Early stage [Indecipherable] remain low and our allowance for loan losses now stands at 1.08%. Charge-offs continue to remain very light and equated to just above zero for the quarter on a net basis. The coverage ratio of our allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans now stands at 235%, up from 225% a year ago. Rob?

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Scott. We're happy to answer any questions you have.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question today comes from Alex Twerdahl of Piper Sandler. Alex, please go ahead. Your line is open.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Good morning, guys.

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Alex.

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Alex.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

I was just first off, Rob, hoping that you could talk a little bit more about the strategy -- the expansion strategy. I think the new geographies kind of around the residential products certainly make a lot of sense, but maybe talk a little bit more about both the expectations there, as well as the thought process around an LPO in Naples?

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

It's a great way to dip our toe into the water, Alex. It's a $1 bet instead of a much larger bet. We leased about 850 square feet, an end cap and a strip center. We're paying very little for it and as long as we can get the right originators in the office, we think we can make some hay for it. I think, as you know, the West Coast of Florida, especially has been particularly good to the bank and I just think a further expansion is in order and a very good idea. I also think it might be a great opportunity to expand into full service branches down the road into that area.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. And is that primarily given the originating one-to-four family or is there other products that's going to be focused?

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And remember we go as far south now as Englewood, if you're not familiar with Florida, which is in the same county as Naples, the next county up from Naples, so.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. So, it's just a continuation [Speech Overlap]

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Same with Palm Coast by the way. I'm sorry.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay that makes sense and then...

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Same with Palm Coast -- the branch we just opened in Palm Coast is the same thing that's in Flagler County, which is very close to Ormond Beach in Port Orange.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Are you seeing a lot of success? I mean, are you able to give us some color around sort of the mortgage production out of Florida versus the upstate New York piece? Is there -- are they pretty equal or is there still a big tilt toward the upstate New York?

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

We're very pleased with the mortgage production in Florida and it's getting very comparable to the other areas that we serve.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. Scott, I missed what you said about the pipelines going into the fourth quarter. Could you repeat that?

Scot R. Salvador -- Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer

Yes. So, we're down about 10% from where we were in the second quarter, Alex, which is not uncommon for this time of year, but it's a good solid pipeline, it's got a lot of new money. So we're pretty pleased with where we stand and we think we should be able to continue to pull some good growth this quarter.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. And when you talk about the new money, do you maybe put into context relative to where it was in the second quarter at the sort of refi versus new money proportions?

Scot R. Salvador -- Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer

Yes, well, it's more. If you look back a year, it's probably a better comparison. Last year at this point, we had a little bit higher backlog, but the percentage of refinancings in that backlog was much more significant and as I said in my presentation, there's still an elevated level of refinance activity, but it's nothing like it was last year. So, although the backlog is down a little bit percentage wise from last year, the percentage of refi is down significantly versus purchase money and that sort of thing.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then with the 10-year kind of tweaking up a little bit here and just sort of sitting on the amount of cash and seeing the sort of run-off on the securities portfolio. Mike, I was hoping maybe you could talk a little bit more about the thought process around actually putting a little bit more cash to work into securities kind of in the short term and sort of what -- sort of opportunities you're waiting for?

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Right. We definitely spend a lot of time looking at it here, Alex. I mean we did to a conscious decision of no -- for not investing. It is getting a little bit higher. We are talking to some of our guys out in the field, some of the brokers out there to take a look at it, but until it really gets to a spot where we need to invest to kind of -- to help ourselves along, we're going to continue to hold. I mean, there's no downside right now, the way we look at it for not putting that money to work. In six months, if it's higher that's a better spot for us.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. So it's -- is there a sort of a something that is a specific number you're looking for in terms of when you'll start to put money to work or how much you'll start to ladder [Phonetic] out?

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, not right now.

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

It's based on the needs that we have, Alex, and where the rates are going and where we think the trending is going at that point. I guess higher would be the answer.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Yes. Okay and then just final question for me. You guys did little bit in the buyback. What are you kind of thinking about for the share repurchase program? The stock is down to $1.10 of tangible book value. Is there a specific price that it gets more attractive to utilize that buyback more or is there a capital level beyond or earnings beyond the dividend that you'd be consider allocating toward the buyback or what's the thought process there?

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

No, we're going to stay active in the buyback. Alex. You know when you have a closed window period around earnings time, you can't buy. So -- that we were active. I think right up until the window closed and we would anticipate being active again in the future.

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks for taking my questions.

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. Alex. This concludes our Q&A session. I would like to turn the conference back over to Robert J. McCormick for any closing remarks.

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for your interest in our company and have a great day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 21 minutes

Call participants:

Robert J. McCormick -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Michael M. Ozimek -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Scot R. Salvador -- Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer

Alexander Twerdahl -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

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