TRIUMPH’S POSITIVE EARNINGS SUBJECT OF DAILY NEWS ARTICLE
TRIUMPH LIVES UP TO NAME WITH Q2 EARNINGS
August 9, 2010, The Daily News
Profits down. Money set aside for bad loans on the rise. Outlook uncertain.
Those are some of most frequent themes of recent quarterly earnings announcements from local and national banks as they struggle to recover from the worst recession and operating environment in generations.
And yet Triumph Bank, a still relatively young community bank in Memphis, this summer has managed to pull off no mean feat: completing its sixth straight quarter of profitability.
In contrast, many local banks as well as institutions across Tennessee are still unprofitable or only recently returned to profitability. One example is First Horizon National Corp., the Memphis-based parent of First Tennessee Bank, which notched a 1-cent per share profit in the second quarter – its first in two years.
Triumph Bank, headquartered at Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240, reported a profit of $376,000 between April and June. And the bank has stayed in the black for pretty much the entirety of the recession’s immediate aftermath.
Triumph also recently added to its bench strength with the hire of Scott Forman, the bank’s new senior vice president and commercial lender.
Triumph CEO Will Chase says the latest results are attributable to a philosophy that sounds on the surface like a no-brainer, although it was arguably not adhered to by much of the financial industry over the last few years.
It calls for sticking to the basics.
“Honestly, we’re a bank that your granddad would like,” Chase said. “We make loans, we collect interest, we pay interest, you subtract out the expenses, and you’ve got to make a profit. We’ve also developed a large enough mass of earning assets, and we’ve kept down the overhead pretty much.
“We also have a great board. We have pretty good technology. And we have good people.”
Triumph has a little less than 1 percent of the customer deposit share in Memphis, according to the most recent figures from The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The bank’s Q2 numbers came amid a quarter of arguably robust performance for many corners of the financial industry. In an analyst note about the quarter, Memphis-based Wunderlich Securities analyst Kevin Reynolds described the period’s results as better than expected.
“Almost half of our companies reported results that exceeded the entire range of analysts’ estimates,” Reynolds wrote. “Inside the numbers, fundamental operating trends suggest that the solid quarterly performance was sustainable, with a mix of solid revenue growth, (net interest margin) stability, and credit quality that was well-behaved.”
On a similarly strong note, Mississippi-based Metropolitan Bank, which has a co-headquarters in Memphis, recently announced the completion of an equity raise that yielded almost $11 million for the bank.
Metropolitan, which has assets of about $450 million, is operating ahead of its profitability projections for the 28-month-old private client and commercial bank.
Chase, meanwhile, said there are still plenty of potholes looming the financial industry will need to try to swerve around.
“The environment is getting a little better. But it’s going to be a very, very difficult operating environment between now and the end of next year, to be quite frank,” Chase said. “A lot of the commercial real estate things you read about every day, it’s going to take that long for them to be addressed. That’s No. 1.
“No. 2, we still have a jobs issue in our country. And if you don’t have a job, it’s tough to pay for things like a house or car.”