Hanmi Financial Corporation Fourth Quarter 2010 Nets First Quarterly Profit of $5.3 Million in Two Years

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hanmi Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:HAFC), the holding company for Hanmi Bank, today reported a fourth quarter profit of $5.3 million or $0.04 per diluted share, with substantial improvement in credit metrics. In the fourth quarter of 2009, Hanmi's net loss totaled $35.9 million, or $0.70 per share. For the full year in 2010, the net loss improved to $88.0 million, or $0.93 per share, compared to $122.3 million, or $2.57 per share in 2009.

"We believe that our continuing efforts to shed problem assets through credit workouts and asset sales has improved credit quality metrics and allowed us to return to profitability," said Jay S. Yoo, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our successful capital raise earlier in July 2010 was an additional factor in strengthening our capital position. Hanmi Bank continued to be categorized as 'well-capitalized' for regulatory purposes at December 31, 2010."

2010 Highlights

  • Hanmi's fourth quarter results mark the first time in over two years that Hanmi Financial has earned a quarterly profit of $5.3 million.
  • Credit metrics, which began to improve at the beginning of 2010, continued improving as the year progressed. Non-performing assets (NPA), which is non-performing loans (NPLs) and other real estate owned (OREO) assets, decreased by 20% to $173.1 million, or 5.95% of total assets, from $215.3 million or 7.25% of total assets in the third quarter and $245.4 million, or 7.76% a year ago. The coverage ratio of the allowance to non-performing loans increased to 86.4% at December 31, 2010 compared to 66.2% a year ago while slightly decreased compared to 90.4% in the prior quarter.
  • During 2010, the successful deleveraging of the balance sheet reduced total assets by 8% or $256 million to $2.91 billion, with gross loans down 20%.
  • Net interest margin (NIM) was stable at 3.48% in the fourth quarter of 2010, down one basis point from 3.49% in the third quarter of 2010 and up 2 basis points from the fourth quarter a year ago. For the full year, NIM increased 71 basis points to 3.55% from 2.84% at December 31, 2009.

Capital Management

"The successful rights offering and best efforts stock offerings in July 2010 have provided the necessary capital to return our balance sheet to 'well capitalized' regulatory status and provided us with the capital resources to assist us in achieving profitability in this most recently completed quarter," Mr. Yoo stated. "We understand that Woori Finance continues to work closely with regulators to achieve approval for the previously announced transaction. While this transaction is no longer exclusive, we believe it is still quite viable. In addition, we are also considering alternative capital sources to further enhance our capital position and fund balance sheet growth."

With the profit generated from operations along with the decrease in our total assets, the Bank's Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio at year-end increased to 12.23% compared with 11.61% in the immediate prior quarter-end and 9.07% a year ago. At December 31, 2010, Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 10.91% compared to 10.28% at September 30, 2010, and 7.77% a year ago. Fourth quarter Tier 1 Leverage Ratio was 8.55% compared to 8.26% in the third quarter and 6.69% in the fourth quarter of 2009. The Bank's Tangible Common Equity to Tangible Assets at year-end increased to 8.60% compared with 8.37% in the linked quarter and 7.13% a year ago.

Asset Quality

At December 31, 2010, the allowance for loan losses was $146.1 million, or 6.44% of gross loans, compared to $176.1 million, or 7.35% of gross loans, at September 30, 2010, and $145.0 million, or 5.14% of gross loans a year ago. The ratio of Hanmi's loan loss allowance to non-performing loans at December 31, 2010, increased to 86.41%, up from 66.19% a year ago. Fourth quarter charge-offs, net of recoveries, were $35.2 million compared to $21.3 million in the third quarter and $57.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year in 2010, net charge-offs were $121.9 million compared to $122.6 million in 2009.

NPLs declined 13% to $169.0 million at December 31, 2010, from $194.7 million at September 30, 2010, and are down 23% from $219.1 million at December 31, 2009. Of the total $169.0 million NPLs, $43.0 million, or 25%, were current on payments. In addition, $69.4 million, or 41%, were marked to current market value with partial charge-offs. Out of the $69.4 million, $26.6 million were categorized as available for sale. We sold 29 NPLs with carrying value of $28.6 million in the fourth quarter, which contributed to the decline of NPLs in the quarter. Year-to-date, we sold 87 loans with carrying value of $156.8 million.

Sale of OREOs, real estate acquired through foreclosures, continued during the fourth quarter, with 5 properties sold for net proceeds of $17.1 million, resulting in a $115,000 net loss. In 2010, OREO sales generated $25.9 million in net proceeds on the sale of 18 properties, resulting in a $196,000 net loss. OREOs totaled $4.1 million at December 31, 2010, down from $20.6 million at September 30, 2010 and also down from $26.3 million a year ago. Hanmi actively manages its loan portfolio and regularly sells assets prior to foreclosure, which partially accounts for the reduction of OREO. The following table shows non-performing loans by loan category:

The proactive approach to resolving problematic credits in 2010 helped reduce delinquent loans on accrual status, which are not included in the NPL total. Delinquent loans on accrual status decreased to $21.5 million, or 0.95% of gross loans at December 31, 2010, from $41.2 million, or 1.46% of gross loans at December 31, 2009. On a sequential quarter basis, the amount of delinquent loans on accrual status decreased from $23.9 million at September 30, 2010 due to a decrease in delinquent construction loans on accrual status. This decrease was partially offset by a minor increase in Commercial & Industrial delinquent loans on an accrual status. The following table shows delinquent loans on accrual status by loan category:

Balance Sheet

We believe that our deleveraging strategy in the last two years has been successful in reducing portfolio risk and preserving capital. With our enhanced capital levels, we have begun to implement plans to grow our customer base, albeit at moderate levels. With loan demand still soft, we anticipate that any growth will come from attracting new customers and capitalizing on continuing disruption in the regional banking market.

Total assets decreased slightly at the end of the fourth quarter to $2.91 billion, from $2.97 billion at September 30, 2010, and down 8% from $3.16 billion at December 31, 2009. Gross loans, net of deferred loan fees, were $2.27 billion at December 31, 2010, down 5% from $2.39 billion at September 30, 2010, and down 20% from $2.82 billion at December 31, 2009.

Average gross loans decreased 20% to $2.35 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010 from $2.92 billion for the like quarter a year ago and declined 4% during the fourth quarter from $2.46 billion for the third quarter of 2010. Hanmi's average investment securities portfolio increased 92% to $351.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 from $182.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 and increased 57% for the fourth quarter of 2010 from $223.7 million from the quarter ended September 30. 2010. The decreases in average gross loans over the past year were the direct result of the balance sheet deleveraging strategy. The Bank increased investment securities to enforce liquidity preservation strategy.

Consistent with the deleveraging strategy, average deposits also decreased 14% to $2.51 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010 from $2.91 billion for the like quarter in 2009 and declined 2% from $2.56 billion for the third quarter of 2010.

The deposit mix at year-end continues to reflect efforts to build core deposits and improve the Bank's cost of funds. There are no brokered deposits in the deposit mix at year-end. Total deposits decreased 10% year-over-year and declined 2% from the prior quarter. The 10% year-over-year decrease in total deposits was primarily due to a $203 million decrease in brokered deposits. Total deposits were $2.47 billion at December 31, 2010, compared to $2.53 billion at September 30, 2010, and $2.75 billion at December 31, 2009.

Results of Operations

Net interest income, before the provision for credit losses, totaled $26.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 which was down 1% from $26.3 million in the linked quarter and down 9% from $28.4 million in the fourth quarter a year ago. Increased liquidity from the capital raise earlier in the year was deployed to cash and cash equivalent balances and investment securities which are generally lower yielding assets. The cost of funds also declined in the quarter reflecting reductions in high-cost time deposits and an increase in low-cost deposits. For the full year in 2010, net interest income before provision for credit losses increased 5% to $105.9 million compared to $101.2 million in 2009.

Loan yields increased and deposit costs decreased which benefited our net interest margin. These benefits were offset by higher balances of investment securities, which generate lower yields but allowing a strong liquidity position. The average yield on the loan portfolio increased 4 basis points to 5.48% from 5.44% from the prior quarter and decreased 6 basis points from the fourth quarter in 2009. For the full year 2010, the average yield on the loan portfolio decreased 9 basis points to 5.40% from 5.49% in 2009. In 2010, the reversal of previously recorded interest income due to the additional non-accrual loans was $3.2 million ($0.3 million in the fourth quarter), resulting in a negative impact on NIM by 11 basis points. The cost of average interest-bearing deposits in the fourth quarter was 1.55%, down 10 basis points from the prior quarter and 71 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, the cost of average interest bearing deposits was 1.70%, down 127 basis points from a year ago. As a result, Hanmi's net interest margin was down just one basis point at 3.48% in the fourth quarter of 2010 from 3.49% in the third quarter and up 2 basis points compared to 3.46% in the fourth quarter of 2009. NIM improved 71 basis points to 3.55% for 2010 from 2.84% for 2009.

Despite the quarterly increase in net charge-offs, the provision for credit losses in the fourth quarter of 2010 decreased to $5.0 million, compared to $22.0 million in the prior quarter and $77.0 million in the fourth quarter a year ago, due to the decrease in classified assets, non-performing loans, and overall loan balance. For the full year, the provision for credit losses totaled $122.5 million, down from $196.4 million in 2009. The provision for loan losses has decreased steadily now for four consecutive quarters.

Total non-interest income in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $6.1 million, up 7% from $5.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 and down 23% from $7.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.  The year-over-year decrease in non-interest income is primarily attributable to decreases in service charges on deposit accounts and a decrease in net gain on sale of loans and securities.  Service charges on deposit accounts decreased to $3.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 from $3.4 million in the linked quarter and $4.0 million for the same quarter of 2009. The decrease in service charges on deposit accounts was associated with the reduction of the deposit portfolio reflecting the deleveraging strategy. The net gain on the sale of loans decreased 69% from the prior quarter and 80% from the fourth quarter a year ago. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the Bank sold accumulated inventory of SBA loans upon the recovery of the SBA secondary market.  For the year, non-interest income decreased 21%, or $6.7 million, to $25.4 million, compared to $32.1 million in 2009, primarily due to a $1.7 million decrease in net gain on sales of investment securities in addition to the aforementioned factors.

Total non-interest expense decreased 10% in the quarter and 4% year-over-year to $21.7 million for the fourth quarter, down from $24.1 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $22.7 million for the fourth quarter a year ago. The overall improvement of non-interest expense in general was across the board. For the year, non-interest expense increased 7.1%, or $6.5 million, to $96.8 million, compared to $90.4 million in 2009, primarily due to expenses related to managing and provisioning for OREO properties and the absence of reversal of a $2.5 million previously accrued liability on a post-retirement death benefit that was recognized in 2009.

Conference Call Information

Management will host a conference today at 1:30 p.m. PST (4.30 p.m. EST) to discuss these financial results. This call will also be broadcast live via the internet. Investment professionals and all others are invited to access the live call by dialing (866) 383-8108 or (617) 597-5343 for international callers at 1:30 p.m. (PST), using access code HANMI. To listen to the call online, either live or archived, visit the Investor Relations page of Hanmi Financial Corporation website at . Shortly after the call concludes, the replay will also be available at (888) 286-8010 or (617) 801-6888 for international callers, using access code #12399068 where it will be archived until February 14, 2011.

About Hanmi Financial Corporation

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Hanmi Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hanmi Financial Corporation, provides services to the multi-ethnic communities of California, with 27 full-service offices in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Diego counties, and a loan production office in Washington State. Hanmi Bank specializes in commercial, SBA and trade finance lending, and is a recognized community leader. Hanmi Bank's mission is to provide a full range of quality products and premier services to its customers and to maximize shareholder value. Additional information is available at www.hanmi.com .

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "expects," "plans," "intends," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms and other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are "forward –looking statements" for purposes of federal and state securities laws, including, but not limited to, statements about anticipated future operating and financial performance, financial position and liquidity, business strategies, regulatory and competitive outlook, investment and expenditure plans, capital and financing needs and availability, plans and objectives of management for future operations, developments regarding our securities purchase agreement with Woori Finance Holdings, and other similar forecasts and statements of expectation and statements of assumption underlying any of the foregoing. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statement. These factors include the following: inability to consummate the proposed transaction with Woori Finance Holdings on the terms contemplated in the Securities Purchase Agreement entered into with Woori on May 25, 2010, as amended (the "transaction"); failure to receive regulatory approval for the Transaction; inability to continue as a going concern; inability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms or at all; failure to maintain adequate levels of capital and liquidity to support our operations; the effect of regulatory orders we have entered into and potential future supervisory action against us or Hanmi Bank; general economic and business conditions internationally, nationally and in those areas in which we operate; volatility and deterioration in the credit and equity markets; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; availability of capital from private and government sources; demographic changes; competition for loans and deposits and failure to attract or retain loans and deposits; fluctuations in interest rates and a decline in the level of our interest rate spread; risks of natural disasters related to our real estate portfolio; risks associated with Small Business Administration loans; failure to attract or retain key employees; changes in governmental regulation, including, but not limited to, any increase in FDIC insurance premiums; ability to receive regulatory approval for Hanmi Bank to declare dividends to the Company; adequacy of our allowance for loan losses, credit quality and the effect of credit quality on our provision for credit losses and allowance for loan losses; changes in the financial performance and/or condition of our borrowers and the ability of our borrowers to perform under the terms of their loans and other terms of credit agreements; our ability to successfully integrate acquisitions we may make; our ability to control expenses; and changes in securities markets. In addition, we set forth certain risks in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including attached as an Exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on June 18, 2010, and our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as current and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hereafter, which could cause actual results to differ from those projected. We undertake no obligation to update such forward-looking statements except as required by law.

Cautionary Statements

Future issuance of any securities relating to the Woori transaction has not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction or state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction or state.

CONTACT: BRIAN E. CHO Chief Financial Officer (213) 368-3200 DAVID YANG Investor Relations Officer (213) 637-4798