Below is transcript of the Renasant Corp. (NASDAQ:RNST)’s Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call, held on January 21, 2015 at 10:00 am EST. Renaissance Technologies, Nine Chapters Capital Management and Pdt Partners was among Renasant Corp. (NASDAQ:RNST) shareholders at the end of the third quarter.
Renasant Corp. (NASDAQ:RNST) is a bank holding company. The Company owns and operates Renasant Bank (the Bank), a Mississippi banking association with operations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, and Renasant Insurance, Inc., a Mississippi corporation with operations in Mississippi.
Edward Robinson McGraw – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Renasant Corp.
Kevin Chapman – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Renasant Corp.
Sam Potts – Chief Investment Officer, Renasant Corp.
Mitch Waycaster – Chief Administrative Officer, Renasant Corp.
John Oxford – Vice President, Director, Corporate Communications, Renasant Corp.
Katherine Miller – KBW
Emlen Harmon – Jefferies
Michael Rose – Raymond James
David Bishop – Drexel Hamilton
Matthew Olney – Stephens
Andy Stapp – Hilliard Lyons.
Good morning and welcome to the Renasant Corporation’s 2014 Fourth Quarter and Year-End conference call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. John Oxford. Please go ahead.
John Oxford, Vice President, Director Corporate Communications
Thanks, Zelda. Good morning and thank you for joining us for Renasant Corporation’s 2014 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Earnings webcast and conference call. Participating in this call today are members of Renasant’s executive management team. Before we begin, let me remind you that some of our comments during this call may be forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainty. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Those factors include but are not limited to interest rate fluctuations, regulatory changes, portfolio performance and other factors discussed in our recent filings with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events, or changes to future operating results over time. Now I will turn the call over to E. Robinson McGraw, Chairman and CEO of Renasant Corporation. Robin?
Edward Robinson McGraw, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Thank you, John. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today. Our financial results for the fourth quarter of ’14 represent a strong finish to a great year. During ’14, we grew non-acquired loans over 13%, increased our net interest margin, enhanced efficiency, and also improved the credit risk of our portfolio. All of these accomplishments resulted in record earnings and superior returns on profitability metrics. As we look to 2015, we believe we are well positioned to continue to improve on profitability and earnings growth, which in turn will generate shareholder value.
Looking at our performance during the fourth quarter of ’14, net income was up approximately 39% to $15.6 million as compared to $11.3 million for the fourth quarter of ’13. Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.49 as compared to $0.36 for the fourth quarter of ’13. Our return on average assets for this quarter was 1.08% as compared to 78 basis points for the same period in ’13. Our return on average equity for the fourth quarter of ’14 was 8.72% compared to 6.71% for the same period in ’13. Our Q4 ’14 return on average tangible assets and return on average tangible equity was 1.20% and 15.89%.