The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 16, 2020 • 08:00 am ET
Good morning, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call hosted by BNY Mellon. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this conference call webcast will be recorded and will consist of copyrighted material. You may not record or rebroadcast these materials without BNY Mellon's consent.
I will now turn the call over to Magda Palczynska, BNY Mellon's Global Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Good morning. Today, BNY Mellon released its results for the Fourth quarter of 2019. The earnings press release and the financial highlights presentation to accompany this call are both available on our website at bnymellon.com. Todd Gibbons, BNY Mellon's Interim CEO will lead the call. Then Mike Santomassino, our CFO, will take you through our earnings presentation. Following Mike's prepared remarks, there will be a Q&A session. As a reminder, please limit yourself to two questions.
Before we begin, please note that our remarks today may include forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated or implied by our forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those identified in the cautionary statement in the earnings press release, the financial highlights presentation and in our documents filed with the SEC, all available on our website. Forward-looking statements made on this call speak only as of today, January 16th, 2020, and will not be updated.
With that, I will hand over to Todd.
Thomas P. Gibbons
Thank you, Magda, and good morning, everyone. I'll briefly highlight the fourth quarter and the full-year financial results, and then focus most of my comments highlighting the progress we made in 2019, as well as outlining our priorities for 2020. Mike will then go through the real financials in much more detail.
For the fourth quarter, we reported earnings of $1.4 billion and earnings per share of $1.52. This includes a positive impact of $0.50 per share from notable items, which Mike will discuss. For the full year on an adjusted basis, EPS of $4.02 on revenues of $15.7 billion. Full-year expenses were down slightly as we identified and implemented efficiencies to more than offset the increase in technology investments. What that means is we actually delivered hundreds of millions dollars of real productivity and we had solid operating margins of approximately 32%. We generated over $5 billion of capital in 2019, returning more than 100% of earnings to shareholders through dividends and buybacks, while at the same time maintaining a strong capital position, investing for growth, and achieving a solid return on tangible common equity of greater than 20%.
This year was not without challenges, however, and notably those included interest rate cuts in the US and, while some equity markets hit new highs, client activity levels were constrained in many of our business. Despite this fees in investment services, we are resilient and we saw some modest organic revenue growth. We also delivered strong operating margins and capital returns for our shareholders. We built a solid foundation in 2019, including substantial investment in technology and talent, while operations