Camden National Corp. (NASDAQ:CAC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 28, 2020 • 03:00 pm ET

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Camden National Corp. (NASDAQ:CAC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day and welcome to the Camden National Corporation Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Sarah and I will be your operator for today's call.

[Operator Instructions]

Please note that this presentation contains forward-looking statements, which involve significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to vary materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements are described in the Company's earnings press release, the Company's 2018 annual report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the forward-looking statements are made.

Any references in today's presentation to non-GAAP financial measures are intended to provide meaningful insights and are reconciled with GAAP in your press release.

Today's presenters are Greg Dufour, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director; and Deborah Jordan, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. [Operator Instructions].

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Greg Dufour. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Gregory A. Dufour

Thank you, Sarah. Good afternoon and welcome to Camden National fourth quarter earnings call.

Before I provide an overview, I'd like to welcome two analyst and their firms who initiated coverage of Camden National Corporation since our last call. We're joined by Wally Wallace from Raymond James and Jake Civiello from Janney Securities. I will note, Jake is traveling right now and may not be on the call. And they join Damon DelMonte from KBW, who has covered Camden since 2015.

Earlier today, we announced record annual earnings for 2019 of $57.2 million or $3.69 per diluted share and fourth quarter earnings of $15.2 million or $0.99 per diluted share. We're very pleased with our strong finish to 2019, which led to a return on average assets of 1.3%, return on average equity of 12.44% and a non-GAAP efficiency ratio under 56%.

Net interest income increased 8% over 2018 and EPS was up 9%. Debbie will provide a deeper look into our financial performance, but I'd like to take a few moments to highlight some additional information.

During 2019, our average loans grew 8% over 2018, while our average deposits grew 14% the similar time period. This resulted in a loan-to-deposit ratio of 87%, which positions us very well against our Northern New England peers. [Indecipherable] loan growth was 2% in 2019 due to elevated prepayments throughout the year. Our guidance for 2020 is still mid single-digit loan growth.

Our focus on deposits will continue as we enjoy both the pricing and liquidity impact of a strong deposit base, but I'll repeat my caution from prior quarters that we do remain cautious as we see aggressive pricing on deposits, particularly from competitors who have higher loan-to-deposit ratios and less liquidity than we do.

I'd like to share that our Wealth Management group reached an important milestone by achieving over