Hingham Savings Reports First Quarter 2020 Results

HINGHAM, Mass., April 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HINGHAM INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS (NASDAQ: HIFS), Hingham, Massachusetts announced results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020.Earnings
Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 was $2,185,000 or $1.02 per share basic and $1.00 per share diluted, as compared to $9,824,000 or $4.61 per share basic and $4.50 per share diluted for the same period last year. The Bank’s annualized return on average equity for the first quarter of 2020 was 3.46%, and the annualized return on average assets was 0.33%, as compared to 17.98% and 1.64% for the same period last year. Net income per share (diluted) for the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 78% compared to the same period in 2019.
Excluding the after-tax gains and losses on equity securities, both realized and unrealized, core net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 was $8,479,000 or $3.97 per share basic and $3.88 per share diluted, as compared to $7,587,000 or $3.56 per share basic and $3.48 per share diluted for the same period last year. The Bank’s annualized core return on average equity for the first quarter of 2020 was 13.44% and the annualized core return on average assets was 1.30%, as compared to 13.89% and 1.26% for the same period last year. Core net income per share (diluted) for the first quarter of 2020 increased by 11% over the same period in 2019. See Page 9 for a Non-GAAP reconciliation between net income and core net income.Balance Sheet
Growth in the first quarter of 2020 was strong. 
Total assets increased to $2.655 billion, representing 10% annualized growth year-to-date and 6% growth from March 31, 2019. Asset growth was below loan growth as the Bank continued to manage the balance sheet to minimize the carrying cost of its on-balance sheet liquidity.Net loans increased to $2.320 billion, representing 17% annualized growth year-to-date and 11% growth from March 31, 2019. Growth was concentrated in the Bank’s commercial real estate portfolio. Total retail and business deposits increased to $1.486 billion at March 31, 2020, representing 16% annualized growth year-date and 18% growth from March 31, 2019. With a combination of FDIC and Massachusetts Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF) insurance, the Bank maintains unlimited insurance for all deposits. During periods of crisis, this insurance is an important differentiator for new and prospective deposit customers. Total deposits, including wholesale deposits, decreased to $1.713 billion at March 31, 2020, representing a 24% annualized decline year-to-date and 10% growth from March 31, 2019. During the first quarter of 2020, the Bank shifted its wholesale funding mix aggressively towards the Federal Home Loan Bank and allowed $163.9 million in wholesale deposits to run off. This reflected increasingly attractive pricing at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston over the course of the quarter, particularly during March of 2020.   Book value per share was $116.34 as of March 31, 2020, representing 2% annualized growth year-to-date and 12% growth from March 31, 2019. In addition to the increase in book value per share, the Bank declared $2.22 in dividends per share since March 31, 2019, including a special dividend of $0.60 per share declared during the fourth quarter of 2019. The Bank announced increases in its regular quarterly dividend in each of the last four quarters. Operational Performance Metrics
The net interest margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 increased 14 basis points to 2.82%, as compared to 2.68% for the same period last year. The Bank has benefited from the decrease in the cost of interest-bearing liabilities, including both interest-bearing deposits and wholesale funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank, particularly in March 2020. This was partially offset by a decline in the yield on earning assets, driven primarily by the decline in the interest on excess reserves held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston during the same period.
Key credit and operational metrics remained strong in the first quarter. At March 31, 2020, non-performing assets totaled 0.19% of total assets, compared to 0.22% at December 31, 2019 and 0.02% at March 31, 2019. A single non-performing residential loan on Nantucket comprised the substantial majority of non-performing assets at December 31, 2019. In the first quarter of 2020, the Bank foreclosed on this property and purchased it at auction for $3.6 million. The Bank has begun light renovation work to reposition the property and plans to list it for sale in late spring 2020. Non-performing loans as a percentage of the total loan portfolio totaled 0.06% at March 31, 2020, compared to 0.25% at December 31, 2019 and 0.03% at March 31, 2019. The Bank recorded $681,000 of net charge-offs for the first three months of 2020, composed fully of the charge-off related to this Nantucket property, as compared to $1,000 of net charge-offs for the same period last year. The Bank is pursuing litigation against the borrowers for breach of contract and bank fraud in an attempt to collect on the deficiency owed. At March 31, 2020, the Bank owned $3.6 million in foreclosed property consisting entirely of the Nantucket property mentioned above. At December 31, 2019 and March 31, 2019, the Bank did not own any foreclosed property. The efficiency ratio decreased to 30.28% for the first quarter of 2020, as compared to 31.86% for the same period last year. Operating expenses as a percentage of average assets remained stable at 0.86% for the first quarter of 2020, as compared to the same period last year. These operational metrics reflect the Bank’s disciplined focus on credit quality and expense management.Operational and Investment UpdatesImpact of COVID-19 on Bank Operations: In early March 2020, the Bank began moving its key staff to remote operations, including both client-facing teams (Commercial Lending and Specialized Deposit Groups) as well as operational groups critical to the Bank’s business operations (Finance and Digital Banking Teams). Virtually all corporate staff are now working remotely. This move leveraged longstanding investments in cloud-based systems at Google and the transition has not had a material impact on the Bank’s operations or our ability to serve customers. The Bank has modified the operating hours of its retail branch network and shifted to drive-up only service in most locations to reduce the risk to our customers and staff.Impact of COVID-19 on the Loan Portfolio: The full impact of the damage wrought by COVID-19 and the offsetting fiscal and monetary relief programs is beyond our ability to forecast at this time. The Bank operates in two geographic markets – eastern Massachusetts and greater Washington, D.C. – and both of these markets are experiencing widespread outbreaks of COVID-19. The Bank also has an office on Nantucket, where the local economy is unusually reliant on travel. These markets are all operating under modified stay-at-home orders with a broad impact on the local economies. Fortunately, the Bank has no first order exposure to those credit assets that appear to be most directly impacted, including commercial and industrial lending, small business credit, consumer credit, and unsecured credit. The Bank also has no exposure to fee businesses with direct exposure to the capital markets such as wealth management. The Bank has minimal exposure to commercial real estate loans secured by restaurants or hospitality properties. The second order impact on other assets, including the Bank’s commercial real estate mortgage and residential mortgage portfolios, will likely depend on the length and depth of the current shutdown. The Bank’s commercial real estate mortgage portfolio is primarily composed of multifamily properties and mixed-use properties in which apartment units are the primary source of cash flow. This portfolio is concentrated in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline in Massachusetts. The Bank’s portfolio in Washington, D.C. has a mix of multifamily, office, and retail properties. Some of these multifamily assets are located near colleges and universities and may be impacted in the event of an extended shutdown. Since the onset of the crisis, we have had a limited number of requests for loan modifications and we have worked to assist those residential borrowers suffering from extraordinary economic hardships.Investment Portfolio: The Bank maintains a longstanding portfolio of marketable equity investments, concentrated primarily in financial services (banks, insurers, payment companies, ratings agencies, and financial technology). The market volatility in the first quarter of 2020 had a substantial negative impact on the fair value of this portfolio. We continue to believe that these investments have and will continue to generate substantial value for the Bank over time. The Bank’s process remains focused on identifying businesses with strong returns on capital, owner-oriented management teams, good investment opportunities or capital discipline, and reasonable valuations. To the extent that such volatility may provide opportunities to make additional investments in such businesses, we will continue to do so. Bank Real Estate Transactions: In February 2020, the Bank acquired a property in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and has started working with its architects to renovate the property in anticipation of opening this new commercial banking office in early 2021. In the interim, the Bank will continue to operate from our leased offices near Thomas Circle. The acquisition was completed via a reverse 1031 vehicle, the proceeds for which came partially from the sale of the Bank’s former North Scituate location. The Bank continues to market its former South Weymouth property for sale. If possible, the Bank will utilize the same vehicle to shield any proceeds from the sale of this property from income tax.Annual Meeting: The Bank’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders is currently scheduled for 4:00PM on Thursday, April 30th at Old Derby Academy in Hingham, MA. We anticipate holding the formal portion of the meeting in person with a handful of Bank staff required to satisfy the legal requirements for the meeting. We strongly encourage all shareholders to vote by proxy rather than in-person. Afterwards we plan to conduct the informal portion of the meeting on Zoom beginning 4:30PM and we will discuss the 2019 results and the state of the business. Registration information is available at https://www.hinghamsavings.com/investor-materials.Chairman Robert H. Gaughen Jr. stated, “Current economic conditions are extraordinary and we cannot predict with any degree of certainty the near-term impact these conditions will have on the Bank or the markets in which we operate. We will continue to invest in relationships with new and existing customers with strong balance sheets, attractive real estate assets, and significant deposit needs and build these relationships for the long term. We remain focused – as always – on careful capital allocation, defensive underwriting, and disciplined cost control – the building blocks for compounding shareholder capital through all stages of the economic cycle.”The Bank’s quarterly financial results are summarized in this earnings release, but shareholders are encouraged to read the Bank’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which is generally available several weeks after the earnings release. The Bank expects to file Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 with the FDIC on or about May 6, 2020. Consistent with recent guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission, incorporated by reference for banks that file with the FDIC, the Bank expects to revise its Risk Factors in this document to more fully describe the potential risks from COVID-19.Hingham Institution for Savings is a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank located in Hingham, Massachusetts. Incorporated in 1834, it is one of America’s oldest banks. The Bank’s Main Office is located in Hingham and the Bank maintains offices on the South Shore, in Boston (South End and Beacon Hill), and on the island of Nantucket. The Bank also maintains a commercial banking office in Washington, D.C.The Bank’s shares of common stock are listed and traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol HIFS.
Selected Financial Ratios

Consolidated Balance Sheets
Consolidated Statements of Income

Net Interest Income Analysis

The table below presents the reconciliation between net income and core net income, a non-GAAP measurement that represents net income excluding the after-tax gain (loss) on equity securities, net.
Robert H. Gaughen, Jr.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Hingham Institution for Savings
Patrick R. Gaughen, President and Chief Operating Officer (781) 783-1761

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