tupelo — While 2005 was a year of expansion, 2006 was a year of integration and fine-tuning of the business model, Renasant Corporation chairman and chief executive officer E. Robinson McGraw told shareholders at the company’s recent annual meeting in Tupelo.
Recapping the major financial and strategic highlights of the past year, McGraw said that while Renasant remained focused on growth, it was also committed to providing long-term value for shareholders. “No matter how you add it up, this past year was one of accomplishment and success,” McGraw stated.
Specifically, McGraw said the company achieved record earnings per share for the second year in a row as well as record earnings per share for the fifth time in the past six years. Renasant, which was recognized as a NASDAQ Global Select Market Company, grew from $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion in assets during 2006, and achieved double-digit growth in loans and deposits, McGraw observed. Moreover, the company achieved double-digit growth in non-interest income from multiple sources, McGraw added, while holding non-interest expense growth to mid-single digits.
“It is important to note that as margin pressure continues to squeeze the banking industry, we are constantly looking for new ways to diversify and grow revenue areas, as well as controlling growth in operating expenses,” McGraw noted.
During the past year, Renasant expanded its retail mortgage presence in Hoover and Montgomery, Ala., and expanded its wholesale mortgage operation in Corinth, McGraw said. Renasant also opened a full-service banking location in Collierville, Tenn., and it plans to open a new Oxford office during the second quarter of this year. Currently, the company has 63 banking, mortgage and insurance offices in 38 cities in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama.
While Renasant did not have any major acquisitions or mergers during 2006, McGraw said, Renasant signed a definitive merger agreement earlier this year to acquire Capital Bancorp Inc., the parent of Capital Bank and Trust of Nashville. Upon the completion of the Capital merger, Renasant will have a total of 71 offices and approximately $3.2 billion in assets.
“This merger, when approved, will be Renasant’s largest acquisition in our 103-year history and will give us seven strategically placed locations in the Nashville MSA,” McGraw stated.
Capital brings an experienced middle-Tennessee management team, according to McGraw, who added that he is excited about expanding the company’s banking, lending and financial services business lines into this key Tennessee market.
“Capital is a strategic fit that will enhance our franchise and is consistent with Renasant’s previously announced strategy to expand into attractive, high-growth markets.” McGraw observed.
Throughout the presentation, McGraw related the economic attributes of key Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee markets.
While the company is focused on the Capital merger and integration, McGraw noted that Renasant will continue to evaluate de novo opportunities in key markets within its existing footprint.
First quarter 2007 results were also released April 17. Basic earnings per share were $0.45, up 7.1%, and diluted earnings per share were $0.44, up 7.3% compared to basic earnings per share of $0.42 and diluted earnings per share of $0.41 for the first quarter of 2006. Net income for the first quarter of 2007 was $6,962,000 up 7.1% from the first quarter of 2006. Total assets as of March 31, 2007, were $2.755 billion, representing a 5.5% increase from December 31, 2006, and a 9.8% increase since March 31, 2006.