Entegra Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ENFC) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Jan 25, 2019 • 08:30 am ET
Roger D. Plemens
Thank you for joining us today. I'm Roger Plemens, CEO and I'm joined by our CFO, David Bright. Before we get started today, I would point you to the statement forward-looking and non-GAAP disclosure statement included on slides two and three in the earnings call presentation. Also we have a statement concerning the merger announcement as noted on Slide 4. Last week, we announced execution of a merger agreement with SmartFinancial. The purpose of our call today is to discuss our fourth quarter financial results and we will not be taking questions today regarding the merger.
For further information regarding the merger, we are (Technical Difficulty) shareholders to refer to the Form 8-K that we filed on January 16, 2019 and the transcript of our announcement call on January 16th available on our website and through the SEC's EDGAR website.
In addition, shareholders should review the registration statement on Form S-4 that SmartFinancial filed, including the joint proxy of SmartFinancial Entegra, which will provide further important information about the proposed transaction and why the Entegra Board of Directors determine this transaction is in the best interest of shareholders.
At the end of our presentation, if you have questions concerning our fourth quarter results, you can submit them by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, if you have questions on the fourth quarter results, you can submit those to by e-mail at email@example.com (Multiple Speakers).
We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results and I'll let David dive into the numbers a little bit later, but first, I'll do an overview of our strategic plan. The recent merger announcement will not change our laser focus on our strategy of execution of our strategic plan summarized on slide 5.
We will continue to seek deposits in our rural markets, where there is less competition and price sensitivity. Our recent money market efforts have been very successful in those markets. We will continue to focus on relationship banking in our high growth markets, looking for both lending and deposit opportunities. We continue development in the mortgage and SBA business (Technical Difficulty) the mortgage volumes with the higher rates. On the SBA business, we expect higher volumes in 2019. But of course, the government shutdown may have an effect on that business.
We remain focused on return on equity. Return on equity was over 12% for the fourth quarter. We recognize talent recruitment is the key to success, focusing on recruiting additional talent in our high growth markets of Greenville, Asheville, and Gainesville. The Southeast economy continues to be strong providing mid-single digit organic loan growth.
As we previously reported, we have purchased an office in Asheville, North Carolina. We have moved our loan production personnel to that office, but we're doing some minor renovations to that branch area the building, and we expect to be open in the full service branch in the second quarter. In the Greenville, South Carolina market we have significant opportunities. We continue to ramp up our relationship banking resources in