Banking & Finance

Solid Balance Sheet Boosts Live Oak's Quarterly Dividend

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 28, 2022
Live Oak Bancshares’ first-quarter earnings report showed better results than some analysts had expected. The company, the parent of Live Oak Bank, reported net income of $34.5 million for Q1 of the company’s 2022 fiscal year. That translates to $0.76 per diluted share.

“The beginning of 2022 provided continued indications that the small business market is robust and there remain many exciting opportunities for Live Oak to serve American entrepreneurs on a next-generation platform,” company chairman and CEO James “Chip” Mahan said in a news release Wednesday.

That net income of $34.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, was up 14% over that of the previous quarter, which logged net income of $30.1 million, or $0.66 per diluted share.

Total loans and leases for Q1 were nearly $6.8 billion, a 2% increase over the total for the fourth quarter of FY 21.

Live Oak’s total deposits increased to just over $7.6 billion as of March 31, an increase of more than $1.3 billion compared to March 31, 2021, and an increase of $525.1 million compared to December 31, 2021, according to the release.

While a couple of key measures – total revenue and loan and lease production – were lower for Q1 2022 than for Q4 2021, Live Oak helped its balance sheet not only by boosting its deposits but also by reducing its borrowing significantly in the quarter just ended, from $1.47 billion at the end of Q1 2021 and $318.3 million at the end of Q4 2021 to $196.9 million in the quarter just ended. The company did this primarily by reducing its outstanding balance in the Federal Reserve’s Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, the release stated.

Noninterest expenses were up roughly 10% quarter-over-quarter, with increased spending in several areas.

One such area was salaries and employee benefits, which increased by about $7 million, year-over-year.

“The increase in salaries and employee benefits was principally related to continued investment in human resources to support strategic and growth initiatives,” the release stated.

Travel expenses increased slightly ($100,000) from the previous quarter and more than $1.2 million from Q1 of 2021. Advertising and marketing expenses rose more than $1 million, year-over-year. And the company has added a new expense line item for technology.

“This new line item includes data processing expense and other non-compensation related costs reclassified from equipment expense and other expense line items for software, computer and telecommunications,” the release stated. “Technology expense for the first quarter of 2022 was $6.1 million, a $1.2 million increase over the first quarter of 2021. This increase was primarily related to enhanced investments in the Company’s technology resources.”

Two lower costs partially offset the above increases in noninterest expense for the quarter, the release stated. One savings was a decrease in impairment charges related to renewable energy tax credit investments during 2021. The other reduction was in expenses for professional services, primarily legal fees.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Live Oak Bank shares were trading at $45.87, down from $55 a month ago.
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