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July 26, 2013

SCBT Reports Record Operating Results for 2Q 2013 of $0.77 per share; Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend

COLUMBIA, S.C.—July 26, 2013—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 period ended June 30, 2013. Highlights of the second quarter 2013 include:

  • Net income of $12.5 million, or $0.74 diluted EPS in 2Q 2013 compared to $10.6 million, or $0.63 diluted EPS 1Q 2013 and $8.0 million, or $0.55 diluted EPS, in 2Q 2012;
  • Operating earnings, which excludes merger-related expense and securities gains or losses, of $13.1 million, or $0.77 diluted EPS in 2Q 2013 compared to $12.0 million, or $0.71 diluted EPS in 1Q 2013 and $9.3 million, or $0.63 diluted EPS in 2Q 2012;
  • Core deposit growth, excluding CDs and the Savannah acquisition, up $42.8 million in 2Q 2013, or 6.2% annualized growth;
  • Return on average assets was 0.99% annualized in 2Q 2013 compared to 0.84% in 1Q 2013 and 0.75% in 2Q 2012;
  • Operating efficiency ratio was 63.8% in 2Q 2013 compared to 64.5% in 1Q 2013 and compared to 60.8% in 2Q 2012;
  • Net charge-offs of non-acquired loans decreased to 0.40% annualized for 2Q 2013, compared to 0.56% annualized for 1Q 2013 and 0.77% annualized for 2Q 2012;
  • Non-performing Assets (NPAs) improved to 2.56% of loans and repossessed assets, excluding acquired assets, for 2Q 2013 compared to 2.91% for 1Q 2013 and 3.32% for 2Q 2012; and
  • Legacy loan growth for 2Q 2013 was $61.3 million or 9.4% annualized.

Quarterly Cash Dividend

The Board of Directors of SCBT has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share on its common stock payable on August 23, 2013 to shareholders of record as of August 16, 2013. This per share amount is $0.01 per share, or 5.6% higher than the dividend paid in the immediately preceding quarter and is $0.02 per share, or 11.8%, higher than a year ago.

Second Quarter 2013 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 $12.5 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2013 compared to consolidated net income of $10.6 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013. This $1.9 million increase was primarily the net result of improved net interest income, reduced provision for loan losses, and a reduction in merger-related expenses. The increases were offset by a decline in noninterest income.

“I am pleased to announce record operating earnings for the second quarter, and continued improvement in our return on assets and return on equity,” said Robert R. Hill, Jr., president and CEO. “Our performance this quarter was driven by continued asset quality improvements, a higher net interest income and lower non-interest expense. We experienced some revenue slowdown in mortgage banking, as mortgage originations decreased somewhat in association with rising interest rates during the quarter. Our loan and core deposit growth continued to be strong with non-acquired loan growth of 9.4% annualized. We also completed the integration of The Savannah Bancorp, Inc., and are making excellent progress in the Savannah market.”

Asset Quality

During the second quarter of 2013, SCBT continued to experience improvement in asset quality, excluding acquired loans and other real estate owned (‘OREO”), as nonperforming loans declined by $4.0 million, or 7.0%, and classified assets declined by $17.3 million, or 12.3% from the first quarter of 2013. Nonperforming assets to total assets declined to 1.36% due to the decrease in both non-acquired nonaccrual loans and OREO. NPAs, excluding acquired NPAs, declined by $7.7 million from the first quarter 2013 level. Improvements in asset quality continue as we experienced improvement in our markets in housing starts (permits), home sales, continued decline in net charge-offs and lower unemployment rates.

At June 30, 2013, the allowance for non-acquired loan losses was $38.6 million, or 1.45% of non-acquired period-end loans. The current allowance for loan losses represents 73% of period-end non-acquired nonperforming loans. Net charge-offs within the non-acquired loan portfolio decreased to $2.6 million, or 0.40% annualized from $3.6 million, or 0.56% annualized in the first quarter of 2013, and from $4.7 million, or 0.77% annualized in the second quarter of 2012. In evaluating our provision for loan losses, we continue to see meaningful improvement in the trailing average of historical loan losses as the high charge-off quarters from prior periods are being replaced with much lower current loss rates.

Non-acquired OREO decreased by $3.7 million from the first quarter of 2013 and decreased by $9.6 million from the second quarter of 2012. During the second quarter, the Company recorded write-downs on 14 properties totaling $960,000; sold 30 properties with book value of $4.6 million for a net gain of $136,000; and added 17 properties for a total of $1.8 million.

Net Interest Income and Margin

Non-taxable equivalent net interest income was $55.3 million for the second quarter of 2013, a $1.5 million increase from the first quarter of 2013, resulting from an increase in yields on the acquired loan portfolio and an increase in volume of non-acquired loans. The yield on interest earning assets increased by 6 basis points to 5.13%.

We are estimating significant cash flow improvements in our acquired loan portfolios, primarily in the CBT and Peoples portfolios, as part of our recast process.

The overall cost of funds declined by 1 basis point from 21 basis points during the first quarter to 20 basis points during the second quarter (including the impact of non-interest bearing demand deposits).

Noninterest Income and Expense

Noninterest income declined for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the second quarter of 2012. This decrease was the result of the following: (1) mortgage banking income decreased $1.1 million due to fewer loans sold and reduced pipeline; (2) service charges on deposit accounts were down $150,000; (3) other fees were down $436,000 due to a decrease in recoveries related to acquired loans; and (4) the negative accretion on the FDIC indemnification asset increased by $2.9 million. Partially offsetting these decreases were increases of $796,000 in trust and investment services income and $627,000 in bankcard services income. The negative accretion results from the reduction of expected cash flows of this asset related to certain pools of acquired loans which had improved estimated cash flows, and is being recognized over the shorter of the underlying assets remaining life or remaining term of the loss share agreements.

Compared to the first quarter of 2013, noninterest income was down a total of $1.0 million. This decrease resulted from a $1.4 million decrease in mortgage banking income. Partially offsetting this decrease was an increase of $352,000 in bankcard services income.

Noninterest expense was $44.9 million in the second quarter of 2013, a 19.7% or $7.4 million increase from $37.5 million in the second quarter of 2012. This increase was driven primarily by an increase in salaries and benefits of $5.5 million, or 30.0%, and increases in all other noninterest expense categories, excluding merger-related expense and furniture and equipment expense. The increase in salaries and employee benefits resulted primarily from the impact of the addition of new FTEs largely related to the Savannah acquisition. Declines of $1.1 million in merger-related expenses and $105,000 in furniture and equipment expenses partially offset these increases.

Compared to the first quarter of 2013, noninterest expense decreased by $1.6 million. The decrease resulted from a $1.1 million decline in merger-related expenses and small declines in most other noninterest expense categories. This decline was partially offset by an increase of $494,000 in salaries and benefits, primarily the result of an increase the number of employees participating in the 401(k) plan and the resulting match.

Balance Sheet and Capital

At June 30, 2013, SCBT’s total assets were $5.0 billion, up from $4.4 billion at June 30, 2012, and down slightly from $5.1 billion at March 31, 2013. Since June 30, 2012, the company’s balance sheet has grown by over $669.8 million, or 15.3%, due primarily to closing of The Savannah Bancorp, 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 $15.8 million and decreases in FDIC receivables of $96.5 million. The asset growth was supported primarily by $522.0 million in deposit growth, $42.2 million in correspondent bank federal funds purchased and $91.7 million in additional capital.

The Company’s book value per share increased to $30.33 per share at June 30, 2013, compared to $30.22 at March 31, 2013. Capital increased by $2.3 million due primarily to net income of $12.5 million partially offset by an $8.3 million net unrealized loss on AFS securities and $3.1 million in dividends paid to our shareholders. Tangible book value (“TBV”) per share increased by $0.20 per share to $23.09 at June 30, 2013 from $22.89 at March 31, 2013 due to the capital increases described above.

The total risk-based capital ratio is estimated to have increased by 30 basis points from the first quarter of 2013 to 14.7%, due primarily to a change in risk-weighted asset mix relative to the increase in capital. Tier 1 leverage ratio increased to 9.2% from 8.9% at March 31, 2013. The increase is driven by the growth in capital due to net income of $12.5 million partially offset by the increase in average total assets. The Company’s capital positions remain “well-capitalized” by all measures at June 30, 2013.

“Our performance during the quarter has enabled us to increase the dividend to our shareholders to $0.19 per share, which is a $0.02 per share, or 11.8%, increase over the dividend paid one year ago,” said John C. Pollok, CFO and COO. “In addition, this current dividend will represent for a First Financial shareholder a year over year increase of approximately 60% in dividend received.”

SCBT Financial Corporation (the “Company”), Columbia, South Carolina is a registered bank holding company incorporated under the laws of South Carolina. The Company consists of SCBT, the Bank and the following divisions: NCBT, CBT, The Savannah Bank, and Minis & Co., Inc. Providing financial services for over 78 years, SCBT Financial Corporation operates 81 locations in 19 South Carolina counties, 10 North Georgia counties, 2 Coastal Georgia counties and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. SCBT Financial Corporation has assets of approximately $5.0 billion and its stock is traded under the symbol SCBT in the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

SCBT Financial Corporation will hold a conference call on Friday, July 26th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time where management will review earnings and performance trends. Callers wishing to participate may call toll-free by dialing 888-317-6016. The number for international participants is 412-317-6016. The conference ID number is 10030421. Participants can also listen to the live audio webcast through the Investor Relations section of A replay will be available beginning July 26th by 2:00 pm Eastern Time until 9:00 a.m. on August 12th. To listen to the replay, dial 877-344-7529 or 412-317-0088. The passcode is 10030421.

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