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Synovus (SNV) Stock Down 6% on Q3 Earnings Miss, Costs Rise

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Following Synovus Financial’s (SNV - Free Report) third-quarter 2019 results, its shares have declined 6%. The company reported adjusted earnings of 97 cents per share lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1. However, the bottom line was 2.9% higher than the prior-year quarter figure.

Escalating expenses and provisions were undermining factors. Also, deterioration of credit quality was a headwind. However, higher revenues, backed by strong loan balances, stoked organic growth. Lower efficiency ratio and rising fee income were other positives.

Including certain non-recurring items, net income available to common shareholders came in at $127.4 million or 83 cents per share compared with $99.3 million or 84 cents per share recorded in the prior-year quarter.

Top Line Robust, Expenses Flare Up

Adjusted total revenues in the third quarter came in at $494.2 million, up 36.2% year over year. Further, the top line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $488.1 million.

Net interest income surged 37.9% year over year to $402.1 million. Yet, net interest margin shrunk 20 basis points (bps) to 3.69%.

Non-interest income climbed 23.8% to $88.8 million, including a favorable adjustment in the fair value of private equity investments. Rise in almost all components of income drove this upside.

Non-interest expenses were $276.3 million, flaring up 25.4% year over year. Notably, rise in almost all components of expenses resulted in this increase.

Adjusted efficiency ratio came in at 51.71% compared with 55.55% reported in the year-earlier quarter. A decline in ratio indicates improvement in profitability.

Total deposits totaled $37.4 billion, decreasing 1.4% sequentially. Total loans, however, climbed slightly from the prior quarter to $36.4 billion.

Credit Quality Worsens

Credit quality deteriorated for Synovus in the September quarter.

Non-performing loans were up 6.9% year over year to $115.9 million. Non-performing loan ratio came in at 0.32%, contracting 10 bps.

Total non-performing assets amounted to $151.3 million, rising 29.4% year over year. Non-performing asset ratio shrunk 4 bps to 0.42%.

Net charge-offs rose 30.6% on a year-over-year basis to $19.9 million. The annualized net charge-off ratio was 0.22%, down 2 bps. Provision for loan losses was up 84% to $27.6 million.

Strong Capital Position

Tier 1 capital ratio and total risk-based capital ratio were 10.27% and 12.30%, respectively, compared with 10.57% and 12.36% as of Sep 30, 2018.

Also, as of Sep 30, 2019, Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio (fully phased-in) was 8.96% compared with 9.90% in the year-ago quarter. Tier 1 Leverage ratio was 9.02% compared with 9.58% recorded a year ago.

Capital Deployment Update

During the quarter, the company repurchased $343.5 million in common stock or 9.6 million shares.
 
Our Take

Synovus’ results were unimpressive in the September-ended quarter. Also, deteriorating credit quality and escalating expenses remain concerns. However, we believe the company’s focus on both organic and inorganic growth, together with its cost-containment efforts, will pay off and aid bottom-line expansion. Nevertheless, decline in rates might impede top-line growth.

Synovus Financial Corp. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
 

Currently, Synovus carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Banks

State Street’s (STT - Free Report) third-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $1.51 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.40. However, the figure was 19.3% below the prior-year quarter level.

People's United Financial Inc. (PBCT - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 34 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Also, the bottom line increased 3% year over year.

Riding on strong growth in mortgage banking fees, Citizens Financial Group (CFG - Free Report) delivered a positive earnings surprise of 2.1% in third-quarter 2019. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 98 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents. Also, the bottom line jumped 5% year over year.

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