Eastern Bankshares, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2024 Financial Results

~ Receipt of Shareholder Approvals for the Merger with Cambridge ~

~ CFO James Fitzgerald Announces Upcoming Retirement ~

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (the “Company,” or together with its subsidiaries, “Eastern”) (NASDAQ Global Select Market: EBC), the stock holding company of Eastern Bank, today announced its 2024 first quarter financial results and the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend.


On February 28, 2024, the Company and Cambridge Bancorp (“Cambridge”) each received shareholder approval for the previously announced all-stock merger of Cambridge with and into Eastern (“the merger”). The merger is anticipated to close early in the third quarter of 2024, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

“Our first quarter results demonstrated growth in both core deposits and loans, as we continue to deepen our presence in the Boston market,” said Bob Rivers, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of the Company and Eastern Bank. “Our earnings in the quarter benefited from margin stabilization and well-controlled expenses, and our balance sheet remains healthy with strong capital and liquidity.”

“We remain optimistic about our continued growth as Eastern and Cambridge continue to work closely as we plan for the anticipated merger closing and integration. We are pleased to have received shareholder approvals for the merger and we look forward to receiving regulatory approvals in the near future and combining our two great franchises into Boston’s leading bank,” said Rivers.

CFO JAMES FITZGERALD ANNOUNCES UPCOMING RETIREMENT

The Company also announced today that James Fitzgerald intends to retire from his role as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Treasurer of the Company and as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Vice Chair of Eastern Bank after 12 years of dedicated service. Fitzgerald will continue to serve in his roles until a successor is appointed, and will then serve in a senior advisory role throughout the planned merger and integration with Cambridge and Cambridge Trust Company and previously announced leadership transitions related to the merger. As part of the search process to help identify the next CFO, Eastern has retained executive search firm Korn Ferry.

“On behalf of everyone at Eastern, it is my honor to recognize and thank Jim for his extraordinary contributions,” said Rivers. “Jim’s outstanding financial acumen, his leadership across many important transactions over the years, and his role as a trusted advisor to our leadership team and mentor to our next generation of executive leaders, position Eastern exceptionally well as we continue to serve our shareholders, customers and workforce. As Jim begins to prepare for retirement, we are deeply grateful for all that he has contributed and for his continued leadership throughout this transition.”

Deborah Jackson, Eastern’s Lead Director, added, “On behalf of the Board, I thank Jim for his tremendous service and dedication to Eastern over the years. Eastern’s track record of solid performance and strong financial and administrative functions are testaments to Jim’s leadership. We look forward to his continued contributions as a successor is appointed and we build upon Jim’s legacy at Eastern.”

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Eastern and it’s been a privilege to work with Bob and the Board over the last 12 years,” added Fitzgerald. “It’s also been a privilege working with our highly talented executive team and my colleagues throughout Eastern as we have executed a number of strategic transactions since the IPO that position the Company for future growth. I’ll certainly miss the many relationships at Eastern that have been so meaningful to me and am very committed to seeing the successful completion of the Cambridge integration.”

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2024

Net income of $38.6 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. Operating net income* of $38.1 million, or $0.23 per diluted share.

Deposits up $71 million, or 1.6% on an annualized basis. Core deposits up $121 million, or 2.8% on an annualized basis, which was partially offset by a $50 million decline in brokered deposits.

Total loans increased $115.3 million, or 3.3% on an annualized basis, from the prior quarter, to $14.1 billion.

The net interest margin on a fully tax equivalent (“FTE”) basis* was stable at 2.68% as compared to 2.69% in the prior quarter.

Net interest income was $129.9 million, a decrease of $3.4 million from prior quarter.

Noninterest expense of $101.2 million and operating noninterest expense* of $97.6 million.

Modest increase in non-performing loans (“NPLs”) from $52.6 million to $57.2 million or from 0.38% to 0.41% of total loans.

Net charge-offs (“NCOs”) on an annualized basis of 0.21% of average total loans, compared to 0.32% in the prior quarter.

Continued resolution of problem loans. One NPL resolved and collateral of two NPLs under contract for sale. One new NPL in Q1 2024, the collateral of which is being marketed for sale.

BALANCE SHEET

Total assets were $21.2 billion at March 31, 2024, representing an increase of $41.5 million, or 0.2% from December 31, 2023.

Cash and equivalents increased $45.9 million from the prior quarter to $739.0 million.

Total securities decreased $125.8 million, or 2.6%, from the prior quarter, to $4.7 billion, due to principal runoff, as well as a decrease in the market value of available for sale securities.

Loans totaled $14.1 billion, representing an increase of $115.3 million, or 0.8%, from the prior quarter, driven by commercial loan growth of $128.6 million.

Deposits totaled $17.7 billion, representing an increase of $70.5 million, or 0.4%, from the prior quarter, driven primarily by an increase of $120.5 million, or 0.7%, in core deposits, partially offset by a decrease of $50.0 million in brokered deposits. The Company had no brokered deposits at March 31, 2024.

Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) advances decreased $0.2 million from the prior quarter to $17.6 million.

Shareholders’ equity was $3.0 billion, representing a decrease of $22.0 million from the prior quarter, primarily driven by a decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income, partially offset by an increase in retained earnings.

At March 31, 2024, book value per share was $16.72 and tangible book value per share* was $13.51. Please refer to Appendix D to this press release for a roll-forward of tangible shareholders’ equity*.

NET INTEREST INCOME

Net interest income was $129.9 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $133.3 million in the prior quarter, representing a decrease of $3.4 million.

The net interest margin on a FTE basis* was 2.68% for the first quarter, representing a 1 basis point decrease from the prior quarter, as higher funding costs offset increases in asset yields.

Total interest-earning asset yields increased 7 basis points from the prior quarter to 4.13%, due primarily to an increase in loan yields of 10 basis points.

Total interest-bearing liabilities cost increased 13 basis points from the prior quarter to 2.32%, due primarily to higher deposit costs resulting from deposit pricing increases and deposit mix shifts, partially offset by a decrease in average borrowings.

There were 91 days in the first quarter compared to 92 in the prior quarter.

NONINTEREST INCOME

Noninterest income was $27.7 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $26.7 million for the prior quarter, representing an increase of $1.0 million. Noninterest income on an operating basis* was $23.4 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $21.8 million for the prior quarter, representing an increase of $1.6 million.

Service charges on deposit accounts were $7.5 million, essentially unchanged from the prior quarter.

Trust and investment advisory fees increased $0.4 million from the prior quarter to $6.5 million, primarily due to higher market values of assets under management.

Debit card processing fees decreased $0.2 million from the prior quarter to $3.2 million.

Loan-level interest rate swap income increased $1.2 million from the prior quarter to $0.7 million.

Income from investments held in rabbi trust accounts was $4.3 million compared to $5.0 million in the prior quarter. The quarter over quarter change was driven by investment performance.

There were no losses on sales of commercial and industrial loans in the first quarter, compared to losses of $0.1 million in the prior quarter.

Losses on sales of mortgage loans held for sale were $0.1 million in the first quarter, compared to $0.2 million in the prior quarter.

Other noninterest income decreased $0.1 million in the first quarter to $5.5 million.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

Noninterest expense was $101.2 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $121.0 million in the prior quarter, representing a decrease of $19.8 million. Noninterest expense on an operating basis* for the first quarter of 2024 was $97.6 million, compared to $117.4 million in the prior quarter, a decrease of $19.8 million.

Salaries and employee benefits expense was $64.5 million, a decrease of $3.3 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to decreases in incentive compensation costs.

Office occupancy and equipment expense was $9.2 million, essentially unchanged from the prior quarter.

Data processing expense was $16.5 million, a decrease of $0.2 million from the prior quarter.

Professional services expense was $3.5 million in the first quarter, a decrease of $0.6 million from the prior quarter.

Marketing expense was $1.5 million, a decrease of $1.2 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to lower advertising expenses.

Loan expenses were $1.2 million, essentially unchanged from the prior quarter.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance expense was $2.3 million, a decrease of $11.2 million from the prior quarter. FDIC insurance expense for the prior quarter included $10.8 million in special assessment charges arising out of the bank failures in early 2023.

Other noninterest expense was $2.1 million, a decrease of $3.3 million from the prior quarter, due in part to a decrease in the provision for off balance sheet credit exposures of $1.3 million.

ASSET QUALITY

The allowance for loan losses was $149.2 million at March 31, 2024, or 1.06% of total loans, compared to $149.0 million, or 1.07% of total loans, at December 31, 2023. The Company recorded a provision for loan losses totaling $7.5 million in the first quarter of 2024 driven primarily by net charge-off activity in the first quarter.

NPLs totaled $57.2 million at March 31, 2024 compared to $52.6 million at the end of the prior quarter. The increase was primarily driven by the non-accrual designation of one individual credit secured by an investor commercial real estate (“CRE”) office property located in a suburban area. During the first quarter of 2024, the Company recorded total net charge-offs of $7.3 million, or 0.21% of average total loans on an annualized basis, compared to $11.4 million or 0.32% of average total loans in the prior quarter, respectively.

DIVIDENDS AND SHARE REPURCHASES

The Company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per common share. The dividend will be payable on June 14, 2024 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 3, 2024.

The Company did not repurchase any shares of its common stock during the first quarter of 2024.

CONFERENCE CALL AND PRESENTATION INFORMATION

A conference call and webcast covering Eastern’s first quarter 2024 earnings will be held on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To join by telephone, participants can call the toll-free dial-in number (800) 549-8228 from within the U.S. and reference conference ID 46521. The conference call will be simultaneously webcast. Participants may join the webcast on the Company’s Investor Relations website at investor.easternbank.com. A presentation providing additional information for the quarter is also available at investor.easternbank.com. A replay of the webcast will be made available on demand on this site.

ABOUT EASTERN BANKSHARES, INC.

Eastern Bankshares, Inc. is the stock holding company for Eastern Bank. Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank has more than 120 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. As of March 31, 2024, Eastern Bank had approximately $21 billion in total assets. Eastern provides a full range of banking and wealth management solutions for consumers and businesses of all sizes, and takes pride in its outspoken advocacy and community support that includes $240 million in charitable giving since 1994. An inclusive company, Eastern is comprised of deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues, and communities. For investor information, visit investor.easternbank.com.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

*Denotes a non-GAAP financial measure used in this press release.

A non-GAAP financial measure is defined as a numerical measure of the Company’s historical or future financial performance, financial position or cash flows that excludes (or includes) amounts, or is subject to adjustments that have the effect of excluding (or including) amounts that are included in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) in the Company’s statement of income, balance sheet or statement of cash flows (or equivalent statements).

The Company presents non-GAAP financial measures, which management uses to evaluate the Company’s performance, and which exclude the effects of certain transactions that management believes are unrelated to its core business and are therefore not necessarily indicative of its current performance or financial position. Management believes excluding these items facilitates greater visibility for investors into the Company’s core business as well as underlying trends that may, to some extent, be obscured by inclusion of such items in the corresponding GAAP financial measures. Except as otherwise indicated, these non-GAAP financial measures presented in this press release exclude discontinued operations.

There are items in the Company’s financial statements that impact its financial results, but which management believes are unrelated to the Company’s core business. Accordingly, the Company presents noninterest income on an operating basis, total operating revenue, noninterest expense on an operating basis, operating net income, operating earnings per share, operating return on average assets, operating return on average shareholders’ equity, operating return on average tangible shareholders’ equity (discussed further below), and the operating efficiency ratio. Each of these figures excludes the impact of such applicable items because management believes such exclusion can provide greater visibility into the Company’s core business and underlying trends. Such items that management does not consider to be core to the Company’s business include (i) income and expenses from investments held in rabbi trusts, (ii) gains and losses on sales of securities available for sale, net, (iii) gains and losses on the sale of other assets, (iv) rabbi trust employee benefits, (v) impairment charges on tax credit investments and associated tax credit benefits, (vi) other real estate owned (“OREO”) gains, (vii) merger and acquisition expenses, (viii) the non-cash pension settlement charge recognized related to the Defined Benefit Plan, (ix) certain discrete tax items, and (x) net income from discontinued operations. The Company does not provide an outlook for its total noninterest income and total noninterest expense because each contains income or expense components, as applicable, such as income associated with rabbi trust accounts and rabbi trust employee benefit expense, which are market-driven, and over which the Company cannot exercise control. Accordingly, reconciliations of the Company’s outlook for its noninterest income on an operating basis and its noninterest expense on an operating basis to an outlook for total noninterest income and total noninterest expense, respectively, cannot be made available without unreasonable effort.

Management also presents tangible assets, tangible shareholders’ equity, average tangible shareholders’ equity, tangible book value per share, the ratio of tangible shareholders’ equity to tangible assets including the impact of mark-to-market adjustments on held-to-maturity securities, return on average tangible shareholders’ equity, and operating return on average shareholders’ equity (discussed further above), each of which excludes the impact of goodwill and other intangible assets, as management believes these financial measures provide investors with the ability to further assess the Company’s performance, identify trends in its core business and provide a comparison of its capital adequacy to other companies. The Company included the tangible ratios because management believes that investors may find it useful to have access to the same analytical tools used by management to assess performance and identify trends.

These non-GAAP financial measures presented in this press release should not be considered an alternative or substitute for financial results or measures determined in accordance with GAAP or as an indication of the Company’s cash flows from operating activities, a measure of its liquidity position or an indication of funds available for its cash needs. An item which management considers to be non-core and excludes when computing these non-GAAP measures can be of substantial importance to the Company’s results for any particular period. In addition, management’s methodology for calculating non-GAAP financial measures may differ from the methodologies employed by other banking companies to calculate the same or similar performance measures, and accordingly, the Company’s reported non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to the same or similar performance measures reported by other banking companies. Please refer to Appendices A-E for reconciliations of the Company’s GAAP financial measures to the non-GAAP financial measures in this press release.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding anticipated future events and can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. You can identify these statements from the use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “plan,” “potential,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “target”, “outlook” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. There are many factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in the forward-looking statements.

Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results include; adverse developments in the level and direction of loan delinquencies and charge-offs and changes in estimates of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses; increased competitive pressures; changes in interest rates and resulting changes in competitor or customer behavior, mix or costs of sources of funding, and deposit amounts and composition; risks associated with the Company’s completion and/or implementation of the merger with Cambridge, including risks that required regulatory approvals for the merger are not obtained or other closing conditions are not satisfied in a timely manner or at all and that the merger fails to occur in the timeframe anticipated or at all; prior to the completion of the merger or thereafter, Cambridge or the Company may not perform as expected due to transaction-related uncertainty or other factors; and revenue or expense synergies may not fully materialize for the Company in the timeframe expected or at all, or may be more costly to achieve; adverse national or regional economic conditions or conditions within the securities markets or banking sector; legislative and regulatory changes and related compliance costs that could adversely affect the business in which the Company and its subsidiary Eastern Bank are engaged, including the effect of, and changes in, monetary and fiscal policies and laws, such as the interest rate policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; market and monetary fluctuations, including inflationary or recessionary pressures, interest rate sensitivity, liquidity constraints, increased borrowing and funding costs, and fluctuations due to actual or anticipated changes to federal tax laws; the realizability of deferred tax assets; the Company’s ability to successfully implement its risk mitigation strategies; asset and credit quality deterioration, including adverse developments in local or regional real estate markets that decrease collateral values associated with existing loans; and operational risks such as cybersecurity incidents, natural disasters, and pandemics, including COVID-19. For further discussion of such factors, please see the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the joint proxy statement/prospectus (as defined below), which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s expectations only as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

EASTERN BANKSHARES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (1)

Certain information in this press release is presented as reviewed by the Company’s management and includes information derived from the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Income, non-GAAP financial measures, and operational and performance metrics. For information on non-GAAP financial measures, please see the section titled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

As of and for the three months ended

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands, except per-share data)

Mar 31, 2024

Dec 31, 2023

Sep 30, 2023

Jun 30, 2023

Mar 31, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings data

 

 

 

 

 

Net interest income

$

129,900

 

$

133,307

 

$

137,205

 

$

141,588

 

$

138,309

 

Noninterest income (loss)

 

27,692

 

 

26,739

 

 

19,157

 

 

26,204

 

 

(309,853

)

Total revenue

 

157,592

 

 

160,046

 

 

156,362

 

 

167,792

 

 

(171,544

)

Noninterest expense

 

101,202

 

 

121,029

 

 

101,748

 

 

99,934

 

 

95,891

 

Pre-tax, pre-provision income (loss)

 

56,390

 

 

39,017

 

 

54,614

 

 

67,858

 

 

(267,435

)

Provision for allowance for loan losses

 

7,451

 

 

5,198

 

 

7,328

 

 

7,501

 

 

25

 

Pre-tax income (loss)

 

48,939

 

 

33,819

 

 

47,286

 

 

60,357

 

 

(267,460

)

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

 

38,647

 

 

31,509

 

 

63,464

 

 

44,419

 

 

(202,081

)

Net income (loss) from discontinued operations

 

 

 

286,994

 

 

(4,351

)

 

4,238

 

 

7,985

 

Net income (loss)

 

38,647

 

 

318,503

 

 

59,113

 

 

48,657

 

 

(194,096

)

Operating net income (non-GAAP)

 

38,081

 

 

16,875

 

 

52,085

 

 

41,092

 

 

53,134

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per-share data

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings (loss) per share, diluted

$

0.24

 

$

1.95

 

$

0.36

 

$

0.30

 

$

(1.20

)

Continuing operations

$

0.24

 

$

0.19

 

$

0.39

 

$

0.27

 

$

(1.25

)

Discontinued operations

$

 

$

1.76

 

$

(0.03

)

$

0.03

 

$

0.05

 

Operating earnings per share, diluted (non-GAAP)

$

0.23

 

$

0.10

 

$

0.32

 

$

0.25

 

$

0.33

 

Book value per share

$

16.72

 

$

16.86

 

$

13.87

 

$

14.33

 

$

14.63

 

Tangible book value per share (non-GAAP)

$

13.51

 

$

13.65

 

$

10.14

 

$

10.59

 

$

10.88

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profitability

 

 

 

 

 

Return on average assets (2)

 

0.74

%

 

0.59

%

 

1.18

%

 

0.81

%

 

(3.64

)%

Operating return on average assets (non-GAAP) (2)

 

0.72

%

 

0.31

%

 

0.97

%

 

0.75

%

 

0.95

%

Return on average shareholders’ equity (2)

 

5.23

%

 

4.66

%

 

9.91

%

 

6.85

%

 

(33.31

)%

Operating return on average shareholders’ equity (2)

 

5.17

%

 

2.51

%

 

8.14

%

 

6.34

%

 

8.76

%

Return on average tangible shareholders’ equity (non-GAAP) (2)

 

6.46

%

 

5.99

%

 

13.38

%

 

9.19

%

 

(45.55

)%

Operating return on average tangible shareholders’ equity (non-GAAP) (2)

 

6.36

%

 

3.20

%

 

10.99

%

 

8.50

%

 

11.98

%

Net interest margin (FTE) (2)

 

2.68

%

 

2.69

%

 

2.77

%

 

2.80

%

 

2.66

%

Cost of deposits (2)

 

1.66

%

 

1.51

%

 

1.33

%

 

1.22

%

 

0.92

%

Efficiency ratio

 

64.22

%

 

75.62

%

 

65.07

%

 

59.56

%

 

(55.90

)%

Operating efficiency ratio (non-GAAP)

 

61.89

%

 

73.59

%

 

60.83

%

 

58.47

%

 

57.97

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet (end of period)

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

$

21,174,804

 

$

21,133,278

 

$

21,146,292

 

$

21,583,493

 

$

22,720,530

 

Total loans

 

14,088,747

 

 

13,973,428

 

 

13,919,275

 

 

13,961,878

 

 

13,675,250

 

Total deposits

 

17,666,733

 

 

17,596,217

 

 

17,424,169

 

 

18,180,972

 

 

18,541,580

 

Total loans / total deposits

 

80

%

 

79

%

 

80

%

 

77

%

 

74

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asset quality

 

 

 

 

 

Allowance for loan losses (“ALLL”)

$

149,190

 

$

148,993

 

$

155,146

 

$

147,955

 

$

140,938

 

ALLL / total nonperforming loans (“NPLs”)

 

260.94

%

 

283.49

%

 

326.86

%

 

484.18

%

 

407.65

%

Total NPLs / total loans

 

0.41

%

 

0.38

%

 

0.34

%

 

0.22

%

 

0.25

%

Net charge-offs (“NCOs”) / average total loans (2)

 

0.21

%

 

0.32

%

 

0.00

%

 

0.01

%

 

0.00

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital adequacy

 

 

 

 

 

Shareholders’ equity / assets

 

13.95

%

 

14.08

%

 

11.57

%

 

11.71

%

 

11.35

%

Tangible shareholders’ equity / tangible assets (non-GAAP)

 

11.58

%

 

11.71

%

 

8.73

%

 

8.93

%

 

8.70

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Average assets and average tangible shareholders’ equity components for the three months ended Dec 31, 2023 and preceding periods presented in this table include discontinued operations.

(2) Presented on an annualized basis.

Contacts

Investor Contact

Jillian Belliveau
Eastern Bankshares, Inc.

InvestorRelations@easternbank.com
781-598-7920

Media Contact

Andrea Goodman
Eastern Bank

a.goodman@easternbank.com
781-598-7847

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