First Citizens BancShares (NASDAQ:FCNCA) on Thursday turned in Q4 2022 earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations but increased from the prior quarter and from a year earlier, as the bank’s provision for credit losses drove up and net interest margin drifted down during the quarter.
The lender said it expects to resume stock buybacks in the back half of 2023.
“Despite a challenging environment for deposits driven by unprecedented quantitative tightening, we experienced modest growth in noninterest checking accounts and only experienced a slight decline in deposits during the year,” said Chairman and CEO Frank B. Holding, Jr.
Q4 adjusted EPS of $20.94, missing the $22.98 average analyst estimate, climbed from $20.77 in Q3 and from $12.82 in the year-ago quarter.
The company’s decision to exit $1.2B of Bank Owned Life Insurance policies resulted in a tax charge of $55M. The surrender of the policies boosts its capital and liquidity positions, it said.
Net interest income was $802M for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2022, up from $795M for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2022, and from $357M for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2022. Still, net interest margin of 3.36% slipped from 3.40% in Q3 and advanced from 2.58% in Q4 2021, as the cost of funding earning assets more than offset the yield on them.
Provision for credit losses totaled $79M, compared with $60M in Q3 and a benefit of $5M in Q4 2021. Net charge-off ratio accelerated to 0.14% from 0.10% in Q3 and from -0.01% in Q4 2021.
Total loans and leases were $70.78B vs. $69.79B in Q3, and total deposits of $89.41B rose from $87.55B in Q3.
Tangible book value of $571.89 per common share compared with $564.97 in Q3 and $410.74 a year ago.
Earlier, First Citizens BancShares declared a quarterly dividend of $0.75 a share.