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October 26, 2012

SCBT Reports Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results;

COLUMBIA, S.C.—October 26, 2012—SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SCBT), the holding company for SCBT, today released its unaudited results of operations and other financial information for the three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2012.  Highlights of the third quarter 2012 include the following:

 

 

  • Net income of $9.1 million, or $0.60 diluted EPS in 3Q 2012 compared to $8.0 million, or $0.55 diluted EPS in 2Q 2012 and $10.3 million, or $0.74 diluted EPS in 3Q 2011 (which included an acquisition gain);

  • Operating earnings, which exclude merger and conversion expense, of $9.4 million, or $0.63 diluted EPS in 3Q 2012 compared to $9.4 million, or $0.63 diluted EPS in 2Q 2012 and $4.6 million, or $0.33 diluted EPS in 3Q 2011;

  • Return on average assets was 0.83% annualized in 3Q 2012 compared to 0.75% in 2Q 2012 and 1.04% in 3Q 2011; Operating return on average assets was 0.87% in 3Q 2012 compared to 0.88% in 2Q 2012 and 0.47% in 3Q 2011;

  • Return on average equity was 8.4% annualized in 3Q 2012 compared to 7.8% in 2Q 2012 and 10.8% in 3Q 2011; Operating return on average equity was 8.7% annualized in 3Q 2012 compared to 9.1% in 2Q 2012 and 4.8% in 3Q 2011;

  • Net charge-offs of non-acquired loans increased to 0.85% annualized in 3Q 2012, compared to 0.77% annualized in 2Q 2012 and decreased from 1.16% annualized in 3Q 2011;

  • Non-performing Assets (NPAs):  1.89% of total assets for 3Q 2012 compared to 1.90% for 2Q 2012 and 2.44% for 3Q 2011; 3.22% of loans and repossessed assets, excluding acquired assets, for 3Q 2012 compared to 3.32% for 2Q 2012 and 3.87% for 3Q 2011; and

  • Legacy loan growth was $36.1 million or 5.8% annualized during 3Q 2012.

Quarterly Cash Dividend

 

The Board of Directors of SCBT has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share payable on its common stock.  This per share amount is a $0.01, or 5.9%, increase to the dividend paid in the immediately preceding quarter and will be payable on November 23, 2012 to shareholders of record as of November 16, 2012.

 

Third Quarter 2012 Financial Performance

 

Please refer to the accompanying tables for detailed comparative data on results of operations and financial results.

 

The Company reported consolidated net income of $9.1 million, or $0.60 per diluted share for the three months ended September 30, 2012.  Driving this increase from the prior quarter were an increase in net interest income, improved customer-oriented noninterest income, good control over noninterest expense, and partially offset by an increase in negative accretion on the indemnification asset.

 

“I am pleased with our overall performance for the third quarter. We have made consistent progress in most operating facets each quarter this year.  This quarter we continued growing fee income, expanded the net interest margin, and controlled expenses well, all contributing to an improved efficiency ratio,” said Robert R. Hill, Jr., president and CEO of SCBT Financial Corporation.  “We also experienced solid legacy loan growth of approximately 6.0% annualized. This loan growth came primarily in the commercial owner occupied and commercial and industrial categories as we continue to develop quality banking relationships across our footprint.  During this quarter, we also completed the systems integration of Peoples Bancorporation, Inc. and announced the agreement to acquire The Savannah Bancorp, Inc., a merger that we plan to close in the fourth quarter.  While we are continuing to experience improvement in operations and profitability, I remain encouraged by the significant momentum and potential we have to improve performance further and to take advantage of many opportunities to grow our customer base, performance, and earnings.”     

 

Asset Quality

 

During the third quarter of 2012, SCBT continued to see improvement in asset quality with non-acquired nonperforming assets falling to 1.89% of total assets, classified assets declining by another $3.1 million to $157.5 and 30-89 day past due loans declined by $1.2 million from the second quarter of 2012.  We continue to see improvement in the trailing average historical loan losses as the high charge-off quarters are replaced with much lower current loss rates.

 

At September 30, 2012, the allowance for non-acquired loan losses was $46.4 million or 1.84% of non-acquired period-end loans.  The current allowance for loan losses provides .78 times coverage of period-end non-acquired nonperforming loans.  Net charge-offs within the non-acquired portfolio were $5.3 million for the quarter or 0.85% annualized, up slightly from the second quarter of 2012 of $4.7 million or 0.77% annualized and down from the third quarter of 2011 of $7.2 million or 1.16% annualized.  OREO costs increased to $4.0 million during the quarter, up from the second quarter amount of $2.1 million. This increase was primarily as the result of write downs of two properties totaling $1.7 million.

 

Net Interest Income and Margin


Non-taxable equivalent net interest income was $46.9 million for the third quarter of 2012, a $4.4 million increase from the second quarter, resulting from the following:

 

  1. A $2.8 million interest income improvement in acquired covered loans due to increased expected cash flows;
  2. Full quarter impact from the loans acquired in the Peoples Bancorporation acquisition of $1.3 million; and
  3. Decrease of $310,000 in the company’s overall cost of funds.  

Tax-equivalent net interest margin increased 8 basis points from the third quarter of 2011 and 34 basis points from the second quarter of 2012 to 5.03%.  The Company’s average yield on interest-earning assets decreased 23 basis points while the average rate on interest-bearing liabilities decreased 30 basis points from the third quarter of 2011.  During the third quarter of 2012, the Company’s average total assets increased to $4.3 billion and average earning assets increased to almost $3.8 billion.  The growth in average total assets was supported by growth in average total deposits to $3.6 billion. 

 

Noninterest Income and Expense

 

Noninterest income was $9.2 million in the third quarter of 2012 down $2.6 million from the second quarter of 2012 and down $11.6 million from third quarter of 2011.  The third quarter of 2011 included an acquisition gain of $11.0 million from the BankMeridian transaction.  From customer-oriented noninterest income (includes service charges, mortgage banking, bankcard services, and trust and investment services) the Company saw a significant increase in mortgage banking income due to the continued low interest rates for home mortgages and an increase in service charges on deposit accounts from the second quarter of 2012.  Compared to the third quarter of 2011, there were improvements in all categories of customer-oriented noninterest income by approximately $2.0 million.  The increases were totally offset by a $2.3 million increase in negative accretion on the FDIC indemnification asset compared to the second quarter of 2012 and by a $3.1 million increase compared to the third quarter of 2011.  The increases in negative accretion were the result of the reduction of expected cash flows of the indemnification asset related to certain pools of acquired loans which had improved estimated cash flows.  Other noninterest income declined from the second quarter of 2012 by $908,000 due primarily to lower recoveries from acquired assets, but it increased by $366,000 over the third quarter of 2011.

 

Noninterest expense was $38.0 million in the third quarter of 2012, up from $37.5 million in the second quarter.  This increase from the second quarter of 2012 was primarily due to a $1.8 million increase in OREO expense driven by write downs of two properties and offset by a decline of $1.4 million in merger and conversion cost.  The efficiency ratio improved during the quarter from 68.3% in the second quarter to 66.9%.

 

Balance Sheet and Capital

 

At the end of the third quarter of 2012, SCBT’s total assets were $4.3 billion, down from $4.4 billion at June 30, 2012.  SCBT continued to reduce the balances of acquired loans and certificates of deposit.  Since December 31, 2011, the company’s balance sheet has grown by more than $428.7 million, or 11.0%, due primarily to the second quarter closing of the Peoples Bancorporation, Inc acquisition.  The asset growth was spread among increases in investment securities, acquired loans, non-acquired loans, premises and equipment, bank owned life insurance, and intangibles; and these were offset by declines in OREO of $9.3 million and decreases in FDIC receivables of $88.3 million.  The asset growth was supported primarily by $337.0 million in core deposit growth, $45.9 million in correspondent bank federal funds purchased and $52.1 million in additional capital. 

 

Book value per share and tangible book value per share increased to $28.71 and $23.46 at September 30, 2012, which represents increases of $0.54 and $0.60 per share from June 30, 2012 and $1.45 and $1.55 per share from September 30, 2011. 

 

The company’s total risk-based capital ratio is estimated to increase to 15.3% from 15.1% at June 30, 2012 due primarily to a change in risk-weighted asset mix relative to the increase in capital.  The Tier 1 leverage ratio is likewise estimated to increase slightly from 9.2% to 9.3%.  The Company’s capital position remains “well-capitalized” by all measures at September 30, 2012.

 

“We continue to see our margin expand due in large part to continued credit improvement from our acquired loan portfolios,” said John C. Pollok, COO and CFO.  “OREO and merger costs remain volatile, and excluding these, our operating efficiency ratio improved to 58.9% from 60.8% in the second quarter of 2012.  We are pleased with the earnings momentum we are building, which is the result of a balanced organic growth and merger and acquisition strategy.”

 

SCBT Financial Corporation will hold a conference call on October 26th at 11 a.m. ET during which management will review earnings and performance trends.  Callers wishing to participate may call toll-free by dialing 877-883-0383.  The number for international participants is 412-902-6506.  The conference ID number is 2399551.  Participants can also listen to the live audio webcast through the Investor Relations section of www.SCBTonline.com.  A replay will be available beginning October 26th by 2:00 p.m. ET until 9:00 a.m. on November 12th.  To listen to the replay, dial 877-344-7529 or 412-317-0088.  The pass code is 10018831.

 


 

SCBT Financial Corporation, Columbia, South Carolina is a registered bank holding company incorporated under the laws of South Carolina. The Company consists of SCBT; NCBT, a division of SCBT; and CBT, a division of SCBT. Providing financial services for over 78 years, SCBT Financial Corporation operates 75 locations in 19 South Carolina counties, 10 north Georgia counties, and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. SCBT Financial Corporation has assets of approximately $4.3 billion, is the largest publicly traded bank holding company in South Carolina, and its stock is traded under the symbol SCBT in the NASDAQ Global Select Market. More information can be found at www.SCBTonline.com.


 

Non-GAAP Measures
 
Statements included in this press release include non-GAAP measures and should be read along with the accompanying tables which provide a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures.  Management believes that these non-GAAP measures provide additional useful information.  Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as an alternative to any measure of performance or financial condition as promulgated under GAAP, and investors should consider the company's performance and financial condition as reported under GAAP and all other relevant information when assessing the performance or financial condition of the company.   Non-GAAP measures have limitations as analytical tools, and investors should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the company's results or financial condition as reported under GAAP.
 
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
 
Statements included in this press release which are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, forward looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. SCBT Financial Corporation (‘SCBT”) and The Savannah Bancorp, Inc. (SAVB”) cautions readers that forward looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from forecasted results.  Such risks and uncertainties, include, among others, the following possibilities: (1) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the definitive merger agreement between SCBT and SAVB; (2) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against SCBT or SAVB; (3) the inability to complete the transactions contemplated by the definitive merger agreement due to the failure to satisfy each transaction’s respective conditions to completion, including the receipt of regulatory approval; (4) credit risk associated with an obligor's failure to meet the terms of any contract with the bank or otherwise fail to perform as agreed; (5) interest risk involving the effect of a change in interest rates on both the bank's earnings and the market value of the portfolio equity; (6) liquidity risk affecting the bank's ability to meet its obligations when they come due; (7) price risk focusing on changes in market factors that may affect the value of traded instruments in "mark-to-market" portfolios; (8) transaction risk arising from problems with service or product delivery; (9) compliance risk involving risk to earnings or capital resulting from violations of or nonconformance with laws, rules, regulations, prescribed practices, or ethical standards; (10) strategic risk resulting from adverse business decisions or improper implementation of business decisions; (11) reputation risk that adversely affects earnings or capital arising from negative public opinion; (12) terrorist activities risk that results in loss of consumer confidence and economic disruptions; (13) economic downturn risk resulting in deterioration in the credit markets; (14) greater than expected noninterest expenses; (15) excessive loan losses; (16) potential deposit attrition, higher than expected costs, customer loss and business disruption associated with the integration of  Peoples Bancorporation and The Savannah Bancorp, Inc., including, without limitation, potential difficulties in maintaining relationships with key personnel and other integration related-matters; (17) the risks of fluctuations in market prices for SCBT stock that may or may not reflect economic condition or performance of SCBT; (18) the payment of dividends on SCBT is subject to regulatory supervision as well as the discretion of the SCBT board of directors; and (19) other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.

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