Market Overview

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2019 Earnings


GREEN BAY, Wis., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCBS) ("Nicolet") announced first quarter 2019 net income of $10.3 million and earnings per diluted common share of $1.05, compared to $10.9 million and $1.11 for fourth quarter 2018, and $9.6 million and $0.94 for first quarter 2018, respectively.  Annualized quarterly return on average assets was 1.37%, 1.44% and 1.34%, for first quarter 2019, fourth quarter 2018 and first quarter 2018, respectively.

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. Logo (PRNewsFoto/Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.)

"We continued to post top tier results in the first quarter," said Bob Atwell, Chairman and CEO of Nicolet.  "There remains room for further improvement, but we will maintain our focus on the long term vision that has been the engine of our remarkable shareholder results."

"Our performance was recently recognized by S&P Global," said Mike Daniels, President and CEO of Nicolet National Bank. "Nicolet was ranked in the top 20 of best-performing banks of 2018 out of all banks with $3-10 billion in assets. While we are proud of such a ranking," Daniels said, "we are still working to get better."

At March 31, 2019, assets were $3.0 billion and deposits were $2.5 billion, each down $0.2 billion compared to a year ago, with March 31, 2018 assets and deposits carrying a $0.3 billion short-term transaction deposit of a long-standing commercial customer.  Assets and deposits were both down slightly from December 31, 2018, reflecting a usual cyclical decline.  Loans were $2.2 billion at March 31, 2019, $89 million or 4% higher than a year ago and $24 million or 4% annualized over year-end 2018.

Quarterly average loans continued on a rising trend, up $65 million or 3% over first quarter 2018 and $37 million or 7% annualized over fourth quarter 2018, while quarterly average deposits funded the growth, increasing $121 million or 5% over the comparable quarter and $39 million or 6% annualized over the linked quarter.

Net income was $10.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019, up $0.7 million or 7% higher than the first quarter of 2018.

Net interest income increased $0.6 million or 2%, despite $1.6 million lower aggregate discount income, predominantly attributable to a favorably resolved impaired commercial credit in first quarter 2018. Net interest income and margin improvements, excluding the aggregate discount income between the first quarter periods, benefited from higher average earning assets, improving yields from new and repricing assets in the rising rate environment, and pricing discipline on deposits.  Noninterest income increased $0.4 million (4%), provision for loan losses declined $0.3 million on stronger asset quality, and noninterest expense increased $0.1 million (under 1%) between the first quarter periods.

Net income for first quarter 2019 was down $0.6 million or 5% compared to fourth quarter 2018, largely due to the first quarter having fewer earning days, as well as slower mortgage business and higher expenses that reset in the new year.

Compared to fourth quarter 2018, net interest income increased $0.4 million (2%), with fewer earning days reducing net interest income $0.4 million, though more than offset by favorable volumes and rates, as well as $0.2 million higher aggregate discount income between the linked quarters.  Noninterest income was down $0.6 million or 6% from fourth quarter, led by seasonally lower mortgage volumes.  Noninterest expense increased $1.1 million or 5%, due principally to a $1.2 million (or 11%) increase in personnel expense, slightly offset by a $0.1 million decrease in all other noninterest expenses combined (which included fraud contingency expenses of $0.3 million in first quarter 2019 and $0.5 million in fourth quarter 2018).  The linked quarter increase in personnel expense was mostly due to salary merit increases of $0.2 million (3%), a $0.6 million increase in cash and equity incentives expense (largely resets, compared to adjustments in fourth quarter that lowered incentive amounts), and a $0.4 million increase in 401(k) expense. Income tax expense decreased $0.7 million between the linked quarters, on lower pre-tax income and a lower effective tax rate.

Asset quality remains exceptional. The allowance for loan losses remained at 0.61% of total loans at March 31, 2019.  The provision for loan losses was $0.2 million for first quarter 2019 (with negligible net recoveries), compared to $0.2 million (covering $0.1 million net charge-offs) and $0.5 million (covering $0.4 million net charge-offs) for the fourth and first quarters of 2018, respectively.  Nonperforming assets were $9 million, representing 0.30% of total assets at March 31, 2019.

Total capital was $399 million at March 31, 2019, an increase of $12 million or 3% since December 31, 2018, with first quarter earnings and net fair value investment changes partly offset by stock repurchases.  During first quarter 2019, we utilized $5.6 million to repurchase and cancel approximately 102,700 shares of our common stock pursuant to our common stock repurchase program, compared to full year 2018 repurchase activity of approximately 408,100 common shares for $22.2 million.  On February 19, 2019, our board authorized an increase to the program of $12 million.  As a result, at March 31, 2019, there remained $14.1 million authorized under the repurchase program, as modified, to be utilized from time-to-time to repurchase shares in the open market, through block transactions or in private transactions.

About Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.
Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. is the bank holding company of Nicolet National Bank, a growing, full-service, community bank providing services ranging from commercial and consumer banking to wealth management and retirement plan services.  Founded in Green Bay in 2000, Nicolet National Bank operates branches in Northeast and Central Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan.  More information can be found at

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law.  Statements in this release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking and based upon current expectations that may differ materially from actual results.  These forward-looking statements, identified by words such as "will", "expect", "believe" and "prospects", involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statement made herein.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic trends and changes in interest rates, increased competition, regulatory or legislative developments affecting the financial industry generally or Nicolet specifically, the interpretation of tax legislation, changes in consumer demand for financial services, the possibility of unforeseen events affecting the industry generally or Nicolet specifically, the uncertainties associated with newly developed or acquired operations and market disruptions.  Nicolet undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements publicly to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.

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