First Defiance Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:FDEF) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 21, 2020 • 11:00 am ET

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First Defiance Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:FDEF) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the First Defiance Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. [Operator Instructions]. I would now like to turn the conference over to Tera Murphy with First Defiance Financial Corp. Please go ahead.

Executive
Tera Murphy

Thank you. Good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us for today's 2019 fourth quarter and year-end earnings conference call. This call is also being webcast and the audio replay will be available at the First Defiance website at fdef.com. Providing commentary this morning will be Don Hileman, President and CEO of First Defiance; and Paul Nungester, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Following their prepared comments on the Company's strategy and performance, they will be available to take your questions.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that during the conference call today, including during the question-and-answer period, you may hear forward-looking statements related to future financial results and business operations for First Defiance Financial Corp. Actual results may differ materially from current management forecast and projections, as a result of factors over which the Company has no control. Information on these risk factors and additional information on forward-looking statements are included in the news release and in the Company's reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

And now, I'll turn the call over to Mr. Hileman for his comments.

Executive
Donald P. Hileman

Good morning and welcome to the First Defiance Financial Corporation 2019 fourth quarter and full-year conference call. Joining me on the call this morning to give more detail on our financial performance is our CFO, Paul Nungester. And at the conclusion of our remarks, Paul, Vince Liuzzi, our Bank President and I will answer any questions you might have.

Last night, we issued our 2019 fourth quarter and full-year earnings release and now we would like to discuss that release and give you some insight on to an exciting 2020. At the conclusion of our remarks, we will answer any questions you might have. I'm pleased with the great momentum that the fourth quarter provided in growth, financial and strategic performance going into 2020 and our merger with United Community Financial Corp. or UCFC.

Fourth quarter 2019 net income on a GAAP basis was $12.5 million or $0.63 per diluted common share compared to $12.1 million and $0.59 per diluted common share in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the year ended December 31st, 2019, First Defiance earned $49.4 million or $2.26 per diluted common share compared to $46.3 million or $2.26 per diluted common share for 2018, an increase of 9.7%. At quarter end, our total assets were $3.5 billion, up 9.4% from the year ended 2018.

We had healthy growth trends for both loans and deposits in the fourth quarter. Total loans at December 31st were up 9.4% over a year ago and up 15.5% on a linked-quarter annualized basis. Total deposits were up 9.5% year-over-year and 15.9% on a linked-quarter annualized