Chronicle Journal: Finance

Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc. Announces Record First Quarter Loan Growth

Loans Held for Investment Jump $111.7 Million in Latest Quarter

Total Loans Rise 28% to a Record $962.1 Million

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVNU) (“Avenue Financial” or “the Company”) today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.  Net income available to common stockholders totaled $1.41 million, or $0.14 per diluted share available to common stockholders, in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $1.42 million, or $0.15 per diluted share available to common stockholders, in the first quarter of 2015.  The results for the first quarter of 2016 included approximately $801 thousand (approximately $0.05 per diluted share on a tax equivalent basis) in legal and accounting fees related to the proposed acquisition by Pinnacle Financial Partners. 

Total loans, including loans held-for-sale, rose 28.3% to a record $962.1 million at March 31, 2016, compared with $749.8 million at March 31, 2015.  Total deposits increased 18.5% to a record $966.5 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared with total deposits of $815.9 million in the first quarter of 2015.  Demand deposits rose 18.7% to $309.1 million and increased to 32.0% of total deposits at March 31, 2016 from $260.5 million at March 31, 2015.  Total assets grew 15.9% to a record $1.21 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $1.04 billion in the first quarter of 2015. 

Balance Sheet Growth

($ millions)
 Q1 2016
 Q4 2015
 Quarterly %
Change
 Q1 2015
 Annual %
Change
Total Assets$1,205.2 $1,165.5 3.4% $1,039.8 15.9%
Loans held for investment$957.5 $845.8 13.2% $716.3 33.7%
Loans held for sale$4.6 $19.4 -76.4% $33.5 -86.3%
Total loans$962.1 $865.2 11.2% $749.8 28.3%
Cash surrender value of company owned life insurance$25.9 $25.7 0.7% $20.2 28.5%
Total Deposits$966.5 $969.6 -0.3% $815.9 18.5%
Demand Deposits$309.1 $322.6 -4.2% $260.5 18.7%
               
  • Total assets increased $39.7 million, or 3.4%, to $1.21 billion at March 31, 2016, rising from $1.17 billion at December 31, 2015, and up $165.4 million, or 15.9%, compared with $1.04 billion at March 31, 2015.  The growth in assets was due primarily to higher loans compared with prior quarters.

  • Loans held for investment increased $111.7 million, or 13.2%, to a record $957.5 million at March 31, 2016, compared with $845.8 million at December 31, 2015, and were up $241.2 million from $716.3 million at March 31, 2015, for a year-over-year growth rate of 33.7%.  First quarter loan growth benefited from increased demand for Commercial & Industrial loans, and Commercial Real Estate loans. Mortgage loans held-for-sale were $4.6 million compared with $19.4 million at December 31, 2015, and $33.5 million at March 31, 2015.  The decrease in mortgage loans held-for-sale was due partially to an increase in bulk sale of mortgage loans compared with prior quarters.

  • Cash surrender value of company owned life insurance rose to $25.9 million at March 31, 2016, up from $25.7 million at December 31, 2015, and $20.2 million at March 31, 2015. 

  • Deposits totaled $966.5 million at March 31, 2016, compared with $969.6 million at December 31, 2015.  Deposits grew $150.6 million, or 18.5%, compared with $815.9 million at March 31, 2015.  Demand deposits rose $48.6 million, or 18.7%, to $309.1 million at March 31, 2016, compared with $260.5 million at March 31, 2015. 

Revenue Growth and Profitability

($ millions, except EPS)
  Q1 2016 Q4 2015 Quarterly %
Change

 
Q1 2015
 Annual %
Change

Net income available to common stockholders $1.41   $2.13   -33.6% $1.42   -0.6%
Fully diluted EPS $0.14   $0.21   -33.3% $0.15   -6.7%
Net interest income $9.01   $8.74   3.1%  7.49   20.3%
Net interest margin  3.28 %  3.30 % -2BP  3.20 % 8BP
Non-interest income $1.91   $1.70   12.4% $1.26   52.0%
Provision for loan losses $0.77   $0.41   90.6% $0.15   402.6%
Non-interest expense $8.01   $7.04   13.8% $6.41   25.0%
                      
  • For the first quarter of 2016, net income available to common stockholders totaled $1.41 million compared with $1.42 million in the first quarter of 2015.  The decrease was attributable primarily to $801 thousand (approximately $0.05 per diluted share on a tax equivalent basis) in legal and accounting fees related to the proposed acquisition by Pinnacle Financial Partners and a higher provision for loan losses that reflected the growth in loan volume, offset partially by growth in loan volume that benefited net interest income, and higher loan sales, including SBA loans that boosted non-interest income.  Diluted net income per share was $0.14 in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $0.15 per share the first quarter of 2015. Average diluted shares outstanding rose 9.6% to 10.3 million at March 31, 2016, compared with 9.4 million at March 31, 2015 attributable to Avenue Financial’s initial public stock offering in February 2015.

  • Net interest income increased 3.1% to $9.01 million for the first quarter of 2016, compared with $8.74 million for the first quarter of 2015 and was attributable primarily to growth in loans, offset partially by higher deposit costs. 

  • Growth in average non-interest bearing demand deposits since last year contributed to the 8 basis point increase in the tax equivalent net interest margin that rose to 3.28% in the first quarter of 2016 from 3.20% in the first quarter of 2015.  Net interest margin was down 2 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2015, primarily due to higher cost of CDs that were rolled over after the recent rate increase. 

  • Non-interest income rose 52.0% to a record $1.91 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $1.26 million in the first quarter of 2015.  The growth in non-interest income benefited from an 11.8% increase in customer service fees to $751 thousand, a 29.4% increase in cash surrender value of life insurance to $185 thousand, and a 46.3% increase in mortgage banking fees to $300 thousand.  Net gains on mortgage loan sales increased to $256 thousand compared with $236 thousand in the first quarter of 2015.  Net gains on SBA loan sales rose to $189 thousand in the first quarter of 2016, compared with no gains in the first quarter of 2015.  Net gain on sale of securities totaled $228 thousand in the first quarter of 2016 with no comparable securities gains in the first quarter of 2015. The proceeds from the sale of securities in the first quarter of 2016 were used to fund, in part, the growth in new loans generated during the quarter.

  • The provision for loan losses rose to $774 thousand in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $154 thousand for the first quarter of 2015.  The increase in the provision for loan losses reflected the record loan growth in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Non-interest expense for the first quarter of 2016 increased $968 thousand, or 13.8%, to $8.01 million from $7.04 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, and increased $1.6 million from the first quarter of 2015.  Approximately $801 thousand of legal and accounting fees in the first quarter of 2016 were related to the pending acquisition of Avenue Financial by Pinnacle Financial Partners. In addition, the increase in salaries and employee benefits was due to increased headcount added late in the fourth quarter of 2015 and early in the first quarter of 2016.

Asset Quality

($ millions)
  Q1 2016 Q4 2015
 Quarterly %
Change

 Q1 2015
 Annual %
Change

Non-performing assets $0.673   $1.058  -36.3% $3.661   -81.6%
Non-accruing loans $0.433   $0.550  -21.3% $0.854   -49.3%
Ratio of non-performing assets to total assets  0.06 %  0.09 % -3BP  0.35 % -29BP
Other real estate owned $0.240   $0.508  -52.8% $2.807   -91.4%
Net loan charge-offs (recoveries) $(0.054)  $(0.023)  N/M% $0.002  N/M%
Allowance for loan losses $10.89   $10.06  8.2% $8.67   25.6%
                     
  • Asset quality improved in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2015 and fourth quarter of 2015 as measured by reductions in non-performing assets to total assets and other real estate owned.  Total non-performing assets declined 36.3% to $673 thousand and total other real estate owned declined 52.8% to $240 thousand at March 31, 2016, compared with December 31, 2015.  Nonaccruing loans declined 21.3% to $433 thousand compared with $550 thousand the prior quarter. Our ratio of non-performing assets (nonaccruing loans plus other real estate owned and loans 90 days past due and still accruing) to total assets decreased to 0.06% at March 31, 2016, compared with 0.09% at December 31, 2015, and 0.35% at March 31, 2015 due primarily to a decrease in other real estate owned and growth in total assets. 

  • Net loan recoveries for the first quarter of 2016 were $54 thousand compared with net loan recoveries of $23 thousand for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, and net loan charge-offs of $2 thousand, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.  There were no past due loans still accruing greater than 90 days at March 31, 2016.

  • The allowance for loan losses was $10.89 million, or 1.14% of loans, at March 31, 2016, compared with $10.06 million, or 1.19% of loans, at December 31, 2015, and $8.67 million, or 1.21% of loans, at March 31, 2015.  The decrease in the allowance percentage to loans since last year was due primarily to the general improvement in the underlying credit quality of the loan portfolio and qualitative factor adjustments reflecting the improved economy.

About Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc.

Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, was formed as a single-bank holding company in 2006 and operates primarily through its subsidiary, Avenue Bank.  The Company’s operations are concentrated in the Nashville MSA, with the vision of building Nashville’s signature bank and serving clients who value creativity, expertise, and an exceptional level of personal service.  Avenue Bank embodies Nashville’s creative spirit - redefining how clients experience banking through a unique “Concierge Banking” model.  The bank provides a wide range of business and personal banking services, including mortgage loans, with a special emphasis on Commercial, Private Client, Healthcare, and Music & Entertainment banking.  The Company serves clients through five locations (a corporate headquarters and four retail branches), a limited deposit courier service (mobile branch) for select commercial clients, and mobile and online banking services.  The Company’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “AVNU.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws.  These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance.  These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “will likely result,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “projection,” “would,” and “outlook,” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words of a future or forward-looking nature.  These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control.  Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.  Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement.  There are or will be important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including, but are not limited to, the following: market and economic conditions (including interest rate environment, levels of public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, or M&A, and venture capital financing activities) and the associated impact on us; changes in management personnel; deterioration of our asset quality; our overall management of interest rate risk, including managing the sensitivity of our interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities to interest rates, and the impact to earnings from a change in interest rates; our ability to execute our strategy and to achieve organic loan and deposit growth; the adequacy of reserves (including allowance for loan and lease losses) and the appropriateness of our methodology for calculating such reserves; volatility and direction of market interest rates; the sufficiency of our capital, including sources of capital (such as funds generated through retained earnings) and the extent to which capital may be used or required; our overall investment plans, strategies and activities, including our investment of excess cash/liquidity; operational, liquidity and credit risks associated with our business; increased competition in the financial services industry, nationally, regionally or locally, which may adversely affect pricing and terms; the level of client investment fees and associated margins; changes in the regulatory environment; changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and laws; governmental legislation and regulation, including changes in accounting regulation or standards, the nature and timing of the adoption and effectiveness of new requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel guidelines, capital requirements and other applicable laws and regulations; changes in interpretation of existing law and regulation; further government intervention in the U.S. financial system; and other factors that are discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with other cautionary statements that are included in the Company’s Form 10-K and subsequent periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict which will arise. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the Company’s previously announced merger with Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (“Pinnacle”) (the “Merger”), Pinnacle intends to file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC to register the shares of the Pinnacle’s common stock that will be issued to the Company’s shareholders in connection with the Pinnacle merger. The registration statement will include a proxy statement/prospectus (that will be delivered to the Company’s shareholders in connection with their required approval of the Merger) and other relevant materials in connection with the Merger.

INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC IN CONNECTION WITH THE MERGER BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY, PINNACLE AND THE MERGER.

Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of these documents once they are available through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Free copies of the proxy statement/prospectus also may be obtained by directing a request by telephone or mail to Avenue Financial Holdings, Inc., 111 10th Avenue South, Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37203, Attention: Investor Relations (615) 252-2265 or Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc., 150 3rd Avenue South, Suite 980, Nashville, TN 37201, Attention: Investor Relations (615) 744-3742.

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

The Company and Pinnacle, and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of the Company in respect of the Merger. Certain information about the directors and executive officers of the Company is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, which was filed with the SEC on March 29, 2016.  Certain information about the directors and executive officers of Pinnacle is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, which was filed with the SEC on February 29, 2016 and its proxy statement for its 2016 annual meeting of shareholders, which was filed with the SEC on March 10, 2016, and its Current Report on Form 8-K, which was filed with the SEC on April 1, 2016. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be included in the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant documents filed with the SEC when they become available.

 
AVENUE FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(unaudited)
       
  March 31, December 31, March 31,
   2016   2015   2015 
  (unaudited)    
  (Dollars in Thousands, Except Share Data)
Assets      
Cash and due from banks $24,671   34,479   31,137 
Federal funds sold  1,220   675   - 
Cash and cash equivalents  25,891   35,154   31,137 
Interest-bearing time deposits in banks  216   216   215 
Securities available-for-sale, at fair value  163,215   209,574   218,118 
Securities held-to-maturity (fair value of $11,981, $11,964, and $2,831 as of March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015, respectively)  11,913   11,937   2,715 
Mortgage loans held-for-sale  4,583   19,441   33,484 
Loans, net of deferred fees  957,517   845,821   716,253 
Less allowance for loan losses  (10,889)  (10,061)  (8,669)
Net loans  946,628   835,760   707,584 
Accrued interest receivable  2,654   2,778   2,318 
Federal Home Loan Bank stock, at cost  3,320   3,320   3,320 
Premises and equipment, net  7,368   7,659   6,180 
Other real estate owned  240   508   2,807 
Deferred tax assets  7,852   9,021   7,482 
Cash surrender value of company owned life insurance  25,925   25,740   20,179 
Goodwill  2,966   2,966   2,966 
Other assets  2,433   1,380   1,338 
Total assets $1,205,204   1,165,454   1,039,843 
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity      
Liabilities:      
Deposits:      
Noninterest-bearing demand deposits $231,103   245,338   200,316 
Interest-bearing demand deposits  77,976   77,271   60,135 
Savings and money market accounts  479,487   520,342   398,768 
Time  177,930   126,652   156,666 
Total deposits  966,496   969,603   815,885 
Accrued interest payable  563   521   539 
Federal funds purchased  3,001   -   2,716 
Federal Home Loan Bank advances  105,500   68,000   99,300 
Subordinated debt  19,628   19,617   19,585 
Other liabilities  11,506   13,299   12,276 
Total liabilities  1,106,694   1,071,040   950,301 
Commitments and Contingent Liabilities      
Stockholders’ equity:      
Common Stock, no par value. Authorized 100,000,000 shares: issued and outstanding 10,354,750, 10,306,055 and 10,227,340 shares at March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015, respectively  91,817   90,884   89,948 
Additional paid-in-capital  1,074   1,209   1,499 
Accumulated profit (deficit)  6,365   4,952   (548)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (746)  (2,631)  (1,357)
Total stockholders’ equity  98,510   94,414   89,542 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $1,205,204   1,165,454   1,039,843 
       

This information is preliminary and based on company data available at the time of the presentation.

  
AVENUE FINANCIAL HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY 
Consolidated Statements of Income 
(unaudited) 
        
  Three Months Ended 
  March 31, December 31, March 31, 
   2016  2015  2015  
  (Dollars in Thousands, Except Per Share Data) 
Interest and dividend income:       
Loans, including fees $9,369  8,961  7,670  
Taxable securities  951  937  919  
Tax-exempt securities  298  302  216  
Federal Funds sold and other  35  34  30  
Total interest and dividend income  10,653  10,234  8,835  
Interest expense:       
Deposits  1,036  932  761  
Subordinated debt  348  348  348  
Obligation under capital lease agreement  71  71  73  
Other borrowings  187  144  160  
Total interest expense  1,642  1,495  1,342  
Net interest income  9,011  8,739  7,493  
Provision for loan losses  774  406  154  
Net interest income after provision for loan losses  8,237  8,333  7,339  
Noninterest income:       
Customer service fees  751  662  672  
Mortgage banking income from sales, net of commissions  300  339  205  
Increase in cash surrender value of life insurance  185  186  143  
Net gain on sales of bulk mortgage loans  256  257  236  
Net gain on sale of Small Business Administration loans  189  231  -  
Net gain on sale of available-for-sale securities  228  24  -  
Total noninterest income  1,909  1,699  1,256  
Noninterest expenses:       
Salaries and employee benefits  4,409  4,211  3,914  
Equipment and occupancy  762  730  774  
Data processing  369  400  428  
Advertising, promotion, and public relations  199  210  183  
Legal and accounting  421  314  276  
Merger related expenses  801  -  -  
FDIC insurance and other regulatory assessments  214  196  192  
Other real estate expense (income)  3  15  (40) 
Other expenses  829  963  681  
Total noninterest expenses  8,007  7,039  6,408  
Income before taxes  2,139  2,993  2,187  
Income tax expense  726  864  733  
Net income  1,413  2,129  1,454  
Preferred stock dividends  -  -  (32) 
Net income available to common stockholders $1,413  2,129  1,422  
        
Per share information:       
Basic net income per common share available to common stockholders $0.14  0.21  0.15  
Diluted net income per common share available to common stockholders $0.14  0.21  0.15  
Weighted average common shares outstanding:       
Basic  10,152,331  10,095,077  9,319,312  
Diluted  10,340,515  10,257,393  9,435,365  
        

This information is preliminary and based on company data available at the time of the presentation.

     
  Average Balance Sheets and Net Interest Analysis  
  On a Fully Taxable-Equivalent Basis  
  Three Months Ended March 31,  
  2016  2015  
  Average Balance Interest Earned / Paid  Average Yield / Rate  Average Balance Interest Earned / Paid  Average Yield / Rate  
  (In thousands, except Average Yields and Rates)  
Assets:               
Interest earning assets:               
Interest-bearing time deposits in banks $216  - 0.75% $211  - 0.77% 
Investments (1) (3)  221,585  1,437 2.61   224,903  1,276 2.30  
Federal funds sold  539  1 0.53   359  - 0.28  
Loans held-for-sale  15,215  127 3.36   35,498  307 3.51  
Total loans (2)  886,790  9,242 4.19   701,471  7,361 4.26  
Total interest earning assets  1,124,345  10,807 3.87   962,442  8,944 3.77  
                
Allowance for loan losses  (10,179)       (8,725)      
Non-interest earning assets  77,916        64,264       
Total assets $   1,192,082        $   1,017,981        
                
Interest bearing liabilities:               
Interest bearing deposits:               
Checking $72,707  65 0.36% $56,560  49 0.35% 
Savings  18,378  5 0.11   13,734  4 0.11  
Money market  476,772  584 0.49   392,335  386 0.40  
Time deposits  157,962  382 0.97   161,739  322 0.81  
Federal funds purchased  5,623  11 0.79   4,847  7 0.60  
Subordinated debt  19,622  348 7.10   19,581  348 7.11  
Other borrowings  97,849  247 1.01   88,053  226 1.04  
Total interest bearing liabilities  848,913  1,642 0.78   736,849  1,342 0.74  
                
Non-interest bearing checking  237,394        179,199       
Other liabilities  9,103        7,667       
Stockholders' equity  96,672        94,266       
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $   1,192,082        $   1,017,981        
                
Net interest spread     3.09%     3.03% 
Net interest margin     3.28      3.20  
                
(1) Interest income and yields are presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis using a tax rate of 34%.  
(2) Non-accrual loans are included in average loan balances in all periods. Loan fees of $248,000 and $199,000 are included in interest income in 2016 and 2015, respectively  
(3) Unrealized gains/(losses) of $712,000 and 301,000 are excluded from the yield calculation in 2016 and 2015, respectively.  
   

This information is preliminary and based on company data available at the time of the presentation. 

Contact: Barbara J. Zipperian
Chief Financial Officer 
(615) 736-7786

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