United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) (“United”) today announced its second quarter financial results, including solid year-over-year loan and deposit growth, improved operating efficiency and strong asset quality. Diluted earnings per share were $0.55, an increase of $0.06 or 12% from a year ago. Excluding merger-related and other charges, diluted operating earnings per share were $0.59, up 11% over last year. United’s return on assets (“ROA”) was 1.40% and its return on common equity was 11.5% for the quarter. On an operating basis, United’s ROA was 1.50% and its return on tangible common equity was 15.9%.
In the second quarter, loans grew at a 7% annualized rate, or at 9% annualized excluding the planned runoff of the discontinued indirect auto portfolio. With this loan growth and continued balance sheet remixing opportunities, United also benefitted from net interest margin expansion during the quarter. Core transaction deposits grew by $167 million, or 9% annualized, and total customer deposits increased by $129 million during the quarter. All loan and deposit growth results noted above exclude the acquisition of First Madison Bank & Trust, which closed on May 1. Finally, United’s combination of revenue growth and expense management resulted in a 57.28% efficiency ratio, or 54.42% on an operating basis, which represented a new Company best.
“Our United bankers continue to execute on our plans and deliver outstanding results,” said Lynn Harton, Chairman and CEO of United. “I couldn’t be more proud of what they are doing to deliver both world class customer service and top quartile financial performance. I am also pleased that First Madison Bank & Trust in Athens, Georgia is now officially part of the United team. We look forward to growing our business together in the attractive Athens, Georgia market.”
Second Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights:
• EPS growth of 12% versus last year, or 11% on an operating basis
• Return on assets of 1.40%, or 1.50%, excluding merger-related and other charges
• Return on common equity of 11.5%
• Return on tangible common equity of 15.9%, excluding merger-related and other charges
• Loan growth, excluding planned runoff of the indirect portfolio and the acquisition of First Madison Bank & Trust, of 9% on an annualized basis
• Loan growth of $153 million which was more than funded by core transaction deposit growth of $167 million
• Expansion of the net interest margin to 4.12%, up 2 basis points from the first quarter of 2019 and up 22 basis points from a year ago
• Efficiency ratio of 57.3%, or 54.4%, excluding merger-related and other charges
• Net charge-offs of 11 basis points, improved four basis points from last quarter and at historically low levels.
• Nonperforming assets of 0.21% of total assets, compared with 0.20% at March 31, 2019 and 0.20% at June 30, 2018