Equitable Group Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings, Increases Common Share Dividend

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB) and (EQB.PR.A) ("Equitable" or the "Company") today reported record earnings for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2013 and announced an increase in its common share dividend.  The Company operates through its wholly-owned Schedule I Bank subsidiary, Equitable Bank, a growing Canadian financial services business with total assets of approximately $12 billion and 290 committed employees, offering savings and mortgage lending products to retail and commercial customers across Canada.

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net income increased 10% to a record $23.2 million from $21.1 million in 2012.
  • Diluted earnings per share increased 8% to $1.44 from $1.33 in 2012.
  • Return on Equity ("ROE") was 17.5%, exceeding our five-year average of 17.2%.
  • Book value per common share increased 18% to $33.77 from $28.69 at September 30, 2012 and was up 4% from June 30, 2013.

"Equitable Bank delivered strong growth and record earnings performance in the third quarter after successfully converting from its trust company roots on July 1st," said Andrew Moor, President and CEO.  "Core Lending production reached a record $729 million as a result of strong home buying activity, our superior customer service levels, and our partnerships in the commercial lending marketplace.  Portfolio growth coupled with highly efficient operations provided the impetus for continued profit increases and supported another common share dividend increase.  We once again validated the strategy of retaining the majority of our earnings and having discipline in capital allocation to drive consistent ROE. All of this was made possible by Equitable Bank's employees who continue to show a passion for service to our customers and determination in building the business."

THIRD QUARTER OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

As a diversified financial services business, Equitable Bank derives strength from Core Lending operations (comprised of Single Family Lending Services and Commercial Lending Services), and Securitization Financing capabilities:

  • Single Family Lending Services mortgage principal was a record $3.5 billion, up 24% or $686 million year over year.  Production was up 8% to $464 million over the third quarter of 2012.
  • Commercial Lending Services mortgage principal was $2.4 billion, up 9% from a year ago.  Production increased 28% year over year to $265 million.
  • Securitization Financing mortgages under management were $5.8 billion, up 9% year over year.

Equitable's disciplined underwriting and collection practices allowed it to maintain a low-risk profile with minimal credit losses in the quarter. At September 30, 2013:

  • Mortgages in arrears 90 days or more were just 0.31% of total principal, the same as a year ago.
  • Early-stage delinquencies were 0.21% of total principal, an improvement from 0.27% a year ago.
  • The loan to value ratio in our Single Family Lending portfolio was 68% at quarter end.

DIVIDEND DECLARATIONS AND INCREASE

The Company's Board of Directors today announced an increase in its common share dividend as it declared a quarterly dividend in the amount of $0.16 per common share, payable January 3, 2014, to common shareholders of record at the close of business on December 13, 2013.  This represents a 14% increase over dividends declared in November 2012 and is the 4th increase in the common share dividend since 2011.

The Board declared a quarterly dividend in the amount of $0.453125 per preferred share, payable December 31, 2013, to preferred shareholders of record at the close of business on December 13, 2013.

CAPITAL

All of Equitable's capital ratios continued to exceed minimum regulatory standards and most industry benchmarks as at September 30, 2013:

  • Common equity tier 1 was 12.1% compared to 11.9% a year ago, well ahead of Basel III guidelines of 7.0%.
  • Total capital ratio was 15.9% compared to 15.5% a year ago as growth in the mortgage portfolio was covered by the net effects of a $65 million Series 10 subordinated debenture issuance in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $38 million of subordinated debenture redemptions in the first quarter of 2013.

BUSINESS OUTLOOK

Management expects the Company's performance trends through the first nine months will continue into the final quarter of 2013.

"We are focused on promoting our brand and on providing service excellence to build on the momentum of earlier periods as we conclude what we expect will be another year of record performance and shareholder value creation," said Mr. Moor.  "Looking forward, we intend to continue broadening our reach as we believe there is an excellent opportunity to capture a greater share of business in areas that are underserved by the country's other banks."

Mr. Moor also noted two important developments in Equitable Bank's ability to grow: "We have further diversified our funding sources by successfully introducing the Equitable Bank High Interest Savings Account to our $6 billion deposit solutions portfolio and by securing a $300 million bank facility to finance insured multi-residential mortgages prior to securitization.  These actions serve to support our future growth and performance."

In commenting on profitability, Tim Wilson, Vice President and CFO said: "Growth in net interest income, the main driver of our profitability, was strong in the third quarter and reflects the $1 billion increase in our average asset balances since this time last year and a one basis point year-over-year increase in total Net Interest Margin ("NIM") which stood at 1.50%.  We expect net interest income to grow in the fourth quarter on higher balances and we expect total NIM to continue to benefit from the ongoing shift in our product mix to higher margin Core Lending."

Canadian policymakers have been active in recent periods in respect to housing and mortgage markets and while management does not expect additional interventions in 2013, any such actions could impact mortgage activity levels and the Company's outlook.

Q3 CONFERENCE CALL

The Company will hold its third quarter conference call and webcast at 10:00 a.m. ET, November 14, 2013.  To access the call live, please dial in five minutes prior to 416-644-3414.

To access a listen-only version of the webcast, please log on to www.equitablebank.ca under Investor Relations.  A replay of the call will be available until November 21, 2013 and it can be accessed by dialing 416-640-1917 and entering passcode 4640861 followed by the number sign.  Alternatively, the call will be archived on the Company's website for three months.

         
INTERIM CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS        
               
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (unaudited)            
AS AT SEPTEMBER 30, 2013            
With comparative figures as at December 31, 2012 and September 30, 2012
($ THOUSANDS)            
               
    September 30, 2013 December 31, 2012 September 30, 2012
             
Assets:            
Cash and cash equivalents $ 373,994 $ 379,447 $ 356,082
Restricted cash   67,061   63,601   99,874
Securities purchased under reverse repurchase agreements   62,808   78,551   59,827
Investments   300,120   439,480   467,108
Mortgages receivable - Core Lending   5,890,023   5,154,943   5,005,815
Mortgages receivable - Securitization Financing   5,080,200   5,454,529   5,215,703
Securitization retained interests   24,069   7,263   2,199
Other assets   32,880   23,626   21,422
  $ 11,831,155 $ 11,601,440 $ 11,228,030
             
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity            
Liabilities:            
  Deposits $ 6,380,288 $ 5,651,717 $ 5,546,360
  Securitization liabilities   4,740,418   5,261,670   5,100,972
  Obligations related to securities sold short       1,964
  Obligations under repurchase agreements   5,570   9,882  
  Deferred tax liabilities   10,043   5,498   6,402
  Other liabilities   36,847   40,931   25,488
  Bank term loans     12,500   12,500
  Debentures   92,483   117,671   52,671
    11,265,649   11,099,869   10,746,357
             
Shareholders' equity:            
  Preferred shares   48,494   48,494   48,494
  Common shares   137,176   134,224   131,598
  Contributed surplus   5,242   5,003   5,094
  Retained earnings   381,337   323,737   306,629
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (6,743)   (9,887)   (10,142)
    565,506   501,571   481,673
             
  $ 11,831,155 $ 11,601,440 $ 11,228,030
             

                 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (unaudited)        
FOR THE THREE AND NINE MONTH PERIODS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013        
With comparative figures for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2012        
($ THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)                
                 
  Three months ended Nine months ended
  September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012 September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012
                 
Interest income:                
  Mortgages - Core Lending $ 71,633 $ 62,442 $ 204,123 $ 178,205
  Mortgages - Securitization Financing   49,498   54,821   153,797   163,274
  Investments   1,141   2,274   4,897   7,400
  Other   2,271   1,445   6,368   4,011
    124,543   120,982   369,185   352,890
Interest expense:                
  Deposits   36,601   33,455   105,071   95,393
  Securitization liabilities   41,800   45,802   131,575   138,651
  Bank term loans     204   7   609
  Debentures   1,403   878   5,175   2,615
  Other   34   3   83   8
    79,838   80,342   241,911   237,276
Net interest income   44,705   40,640   127,274   115,614
Provision for credit losses   1,650   1,872   5,400   5,792
Net interest income after provision for credit losses   43,055   38,768   121,874   109,822
Other income:                
  Fees and other income   1,654   983   4,348   2,969
  Net (loss) gain on investments   (13)   389   631   692
  Gains on securitization activities and income from
   securitization retained interests
  1,677   857   5,589   823
    3,318   2,229   10,568   4,484
Net interest and other income   46,373   40,997   132,442   114,306
Non-interest expenses:                
  Compensation and benefits   8,738   7,298   25,128   20,833
  Other   6,559   5,401   17,662   16,093
    15,297   12,699   42,790   36,926
Income before income taxes   31,076   28,298   89,652   77,380
Income taxes                
  Current   6,795   6,508   18,068   17,701
  Deferred   1,055   736   4,546   (1,388)
    7,850   7,244   22,614   16,313
Net income $ 23,226 $ 21,054 $ 67,038 $ 61,067
                 
Earnings per share                
  Basic $ 1.46 $ 1.34 $ 4.22 $ 3.88
  Diluted $ 1.44 $ 1.33 $ 4.17 $ 3.85
 

     
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (unaudited)    
FOR THE THREE AND NINE MONTH PERIODS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
With comparative figures for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2012        
($ THOUSANDS)                
                 
  Three months ended Nine months ended
  September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012 September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012
                 
Net income $ 23,226 $ 21,054 $ 67,038 $ 61,067
                 
Other comprehensive income - items that may be
   reclassified subsequently to income:
               
                 
Available for sale investments:                
Net unrealized (losses) gains from change in fair value   (2,456)   1,387   (2,748)   1,438
Reclassification of net losses (gains) to income   15   (449)   (844)   (1,587)
    (2,441)   938   (3,592)   (149)
Income tax recovery (expense)   643   (245)   946   39
    (1,798)   693   (2,646)   (110)
                 
Cash flow hedges                
Net unrealized gains (losses) from change in fair value   172   (952)   6,067   (1,311)
Reclassification of net losses to income   512   602   1,792   1,741
    684   (350)   7,859   430
Income tax (expense) recovery   (180)   90   (2,069)   (113)
    504   (260)   5,790   317
Total other comprehensive (loss) income   (1,294)   433   3,144   207
Total comprehensive income $ 21,932 $ 21,487 $ 70,182 $ 61,274

     
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY (unaudited)    
FOR THE THREE MONTH PERIOD ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013            
With comparative figures for the three month period ended September 30, 2012            
($ THOUSANDS)                        
                         
September 30, 2013 Preferred
shares
Common
shares
Contributed
surplus
Retained
earnings
Accumulated
other
comprehensive
income (loss)
  Total
                         
Balance, beginning of period $ 48,494 $ 136,462 $ 5,098 $ 361,314 $ (5,449) $ 545,919
Net income         23,226     23,226
Other comprehensive loss, net of tax           (1,294)   (1,294)
Reinvestment of dividends     302         302
Exercise of stock options     340         340
Dividends:                        
  Preferred shares         (907)     (907)
  Common shares         (2,296)     (2,296)
Stock-based compensation       216       216
Transfer relating to the exercise of stock options     72   (72)      
Balance, end of period $ 48,494 $ 137,176 $ 5,242 $ 381,337 $ (6,743) $ 565,506
                         
                         
September 30, 2012 Preferred
shares
Common
shares
Contributed
surplus
Retained
earnings
Accumulated
other
comprehensive
income (loss)
  Total
                         
Balance, beginning of period $ 48,494 $ 131,045 $ 4,913 $ 288,596 $ (10,575) $ 462,473
Net income         21,054     21,054
Other comprehensive income, net of tax           433   433
Reinvestment of dividends     199         199
Exercise of stock options     306         306
Dividends:                        
  Preferred shares         (907)     (907)
  Common shares         (2,114)     (2,114)
Stock-based compensation       229       229
Transfer relating to the exercise of stock options     48   (48)      
Balance, end of period $ 48,494 $ 131,598 $ 5,094 $ 306,629 $ (10,142) $ 481,673
                         

     
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY (unaudited)    
FOR THE NINE MONTH PERIOD ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013            
With comparative figures for the nine month period ended September 30, 2012            
($ THOUSANDS)                        
                         
September 30, 2013 Preferred
shares
Common
shares
Contributed
surplus
Retained
earnings
Accumulated
other
comprehensive
income (loss)
  Total
                         
Balance, beginning of period $ 48,494 $ 134,224 $ 5,003 $ 323,737 $ (9,887) $ 501,571
Net income         67,038     67,038
Other comprehensive income, net of tax           3,144   3,144
Reinvestment of dividends     840         840
Exercise of stock options     1,744         1,744
Dividends:                        
  Preferred shares         (2,719)     (2,719)
  Common shares         (6,719)     (6,719)
Stock-based compensation       607       607
Transfer relating to the exercise of stock options     368   (368)      
Balance, end of period $ 48,494 $ 137,176 $ 5,242 $ 381,337 $ (6,743) $ 565,506
                         
                         
September 30, 2012 Preferred
shares
Common
shares
Contributed
surplus
Retained
earnings
Accumulated
other
comprehensive
income (loss)
  Total
                         
Balance, beginning of period $ 48,494 $ 129,771 $ 4,718 $ 254,006 $ (10,349) $ 426,640
Net income         61,067     61,067
Other comprehensive income, net of tax           207   207
Reinvestment of dividends     577         577
Exercise of stock options     1,034         1,034
Dividends:                        
  Preferred shares         (2,719)     (2,719)
  Common shares         (5,725)     (5,725)
Stock-based compensation       592       592
Transfer relating to the exercise of stock options     216   (216)      
Balance, end of period $ 48,494 $ 131,598 $ 5,094 $ 306,629 $ (10,142) $ 481,673
                         

 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (unaudited)
FOR THE THREE AND NINE MONTH PERIODS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
With comparative figures for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2012
($ THOUSANDS)                
                 
  Three months ended Nine months ended
  September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012 September 30, 2013 September 30, 2012
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES                
Net income for the period $ 23,226 $ 21,054 $ 67,038 $ 61,067
Adjustments for non-cash items in net income:                
  Financial instruments at fair value through income   12,320   358   10,139   14,347
  Amortization of premiums/discount on investments   636   945   1,760   1,621
  Depreciation of capital assets   308   249   872   718
  Provision for credit losses   1,650   1,872   5,400   5,792
  Securitization gains   (1,570)   (846)   (4,190)   (846)
  Net loss (gain) on sale or redemption of investments   13   120   (631)   (141)
  Stock-based compensation   216   229   607   592
  Income taxes   7,850   7,244   22,614   16,384
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:                
  Restricted cash   8,823   (33,337)   (3,460)   (16,718)
  Securities purchased and sold under reverse
   repurchase agreements
  85,525   41,524   15,743   (49,860)
  Mortgages receivable   (375,153)   (411,409)   (849,636)   (817,312)
  Other assets   (3,018)   961   (8,273)   1,019
  Deposits   275,780   314,757   728,571   918,456
  Securitization liability   (293,133)   24,649   (521,252)   51
  Obligations related to investments sold under
   repurchase agreements
  (10,130)   448   (4,311)   1,964
  Other liabilities   (3,366)   (959)   (7,637)   (4,815)
Income taxes paid   (2,322)   (3,883)   (19,458)   (14,138)
Net interest income, excluding non-cash items   (56,428)   (47,197)   (143,577)   (154,521)
Interest received   126,841   121,352   375,233   352,779
Interest paid   (71,617)   (76,298)   (235,482)   (218,937)
Dividends received   1,204   2,143   3,826   20,683
Proceeds from loan securitization   201,602   165,187   469,948   165,187
Securitization retained interests   779   38   1,654   38
Cash flows (used in) from operating activities   (69,964)   129,201   (94,502)   283,410
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES                
  Repayment of bank term loan       (12,500)  
  Redemption of debentures       (25,188)  
  Dividends paid on preferred shares   (907)   (907)   (2,719)   (2,719)
  Dividends paid on common shares   (1,990)   (1,915)   (5,710)   (5,148)
  Proceeds from issuance of common shares   340   306   1,744   1,034
Cash flows used in financing activities   (2,557)   (2,516)   (44,373)   (6,833)
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES                
  Purchase of investments   (2,500)   (112,331)   (38,053)   (179,863)
  Proceeds on sale or redemption of investments   38,639   53,303   174,920   112,822
  Net change in Canada Housing Trust re-investment accounts   (6,812)   (16,467)   (2,131)   (23,913)
  Purchase of capital assets   (214)   (145)   (1,314)   (386)
Cash flows from (used in) investing activities   29,113   (75,640)   133,422   (91,340)
Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents   (43,408)   51,045   (5,453)   185,237
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period   417,402   305,037   379,447   170,845
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 373,994 $ 356,082 $ 373,994 $ 356,082
                 

ABOUT EQUITABLE GROUP INC.

Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.A) is a growing Canadian financial services business that serves the market through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Equitable Bank.  Equitable Bank is a federally regulated Schedule I Bank with total assets of approximately $12 billion and 290 skilled employees, offering savings and mortgage lending products to retail and commercial customers across Canada. The Company's integrated operations are organized according to specialty.  Within Equitable Bank's Core Lending business, Single Family Lending Services funds mortgages for owner-occupied and investment properties across Canada while Commercial Lending Services provides mortgages on a variety of commercial properties on a national basis.  Equitable's Securitization Financing business originates and securitizes insured residential mortgages under the Canada Mortgage and Housing ("CMHC") administered National Housing Act.  Equitable Bank provides savings products including Guaranteed Investment Certificates and savings accounts.  Equitable Bank was founded in 1970 as The Equitable Trust Company.  For more information, visit the Company's website at www.equitablebank.ca and click on Investor Relations.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements made by the Company in the sections of this report including those entitled "Business Outlook", in other filings with Canadian securities regulators and in other communications include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements").  These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company's objectives, strategies and initiatives, financial result expectations and other statements made herein, whether with respect to the Company's businesses or the Canadian economy.  Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "planned", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases which state that certain actions, events or results "may" , "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved."  Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, closing of transactions, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to risks related to capital markets and additional funding requirements, fluctuating interest rates and general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory developments, the nature of our customers and rates of default, and competition as well as those factors discussed under the heading "Risk Management" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis and in the Company's documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All material assumptions used in making forward-looking statements are based on management's knowledge of current business conditions and expectations of future business conditions and trends, including their knowledge of the current credit, interest rate and liquidity conditions affecting the Company and the Canadian economy.  Although the Company believes the assumptions used to make such statements are reasonable at this time and has attempted to identify in its continuous disclosure documents important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.  Certain material assumptions are applied by the Company in making forward-looking statements, including without limitation, assumptions regarding its continued ability to fund its mortgage business at current levels, a continuation of the current level of economic uncertainty that affects real estate market conditions, continued acceptance of its products in the marketplace, as well as no material changes in its operating cost structure and the current tax regime.  There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.  The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

NON-GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES ("GAAP") FINANCIAL MEASURES

This press release references certain non-GAAP measures such as Return on Equity ("ROE"), Net Interest Margin ("NIM"), capital ratios, book value per share, and productivity ratios that management believes provide useful information to investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations.  The "Non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") Financial Measures" section of the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis provides a detailed description of each non-GAAP measure and should be read in conjunction with this report.  The Management Discussion and Analysis also provides a reconciliation between all non-GAAP measures and the most directly comparable GAAP measure, where applicable.  Readers are cautioned that non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning, and therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.

 

 

SOURCE: Equitable Group Inc.

For further information:

Andrew Moor
President and CEO
416-513-7000

Tim Wilson
Vice President and CFO
416-513-7000


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