People's United Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 15, 2015 • 05:00 pm ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the People's United Financial Inc. Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Steve, and I'll be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.
I would now, like to turn the presentation over to Mr. Andrew Hersom, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations for People's United Financial Inc. Please proceed, sir.
Thank you. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us today.
Jack Barnes, David Rosato, Kirk Walters, and Jeff Hoyt are here with me to review the fourth quarter and full year 2014 results. Please remember to refer to our forward-looking statements on Slide 1 of this presentation, which is posted on our website, peoples.com, under Investor Relations.
With that, I'll turn the call over to Jack.
Thank you, Andrew. Good afternoon.
We appreciate everyone joining us today. Let me start by noting that we have completed the transition of our Chief Financial Officer position, effective January 1st, 2015. As announced last April, Kirk Walters has transitioned out of the role for family reasons, and he has been succeeded by David Rosato. I appreciate how effectively Kirk and David have worked together to complete the transition seamlessly.
Kirk remains an executive officer heading up corporate development and strategic planning and continues to be a member of the management committee. He also remains as a member of the board of directors of the company and the bank. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kirk for all of his outstanding contributions in his previous role and look forward to continuing to leverage his broad industry experience and deep operational expertise in his new role. Thank you, Kirk.
As has been our custom, in addition to reviewing the fourth quarter and full year results, I will outline our goals for 2015. Our performance for 2014 once again demonstrated the benefits of our deep customer relationships, product breadth, and ongoing strategic initiatives. We continue to build the business for the long term and made significant investments in talent, products, and services.
This included adding a veteran wealth management team based in Hartford, Connecticut and a considerable number of experienced commercial bankers in Massachusetts. We also continued to evaluate the best ways to serve our customers and grow our businesses, as evidenced by the announcement of the Merchant Services joint venture in July.
Slide 2, provides an overview of our 2014 results. We are pleased to report full year operating earnings of $245 million, a 2% increase from 2013. On a per share basis, operating earnings were $0.82, a 6% increase from the prior year and marks the fifth consecutive year of growth in operating earnings per share.
We are building on the momentum generated in recent years through our focus on growing loans and deposits, which in turn creates