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Edited Transcript of FHB earnings conference call or presentation 25-Jul-19 9:00pm GMT

Q2 2019 First Hawaiian Inc Earnings Call

Honolulu Jul 26, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of First Hawaiian Inc earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 9:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Eric K. Yeaman

First Hawaiian, Inc. - President & COO

* Kevin Haseyama

First Hawaiian, Inc. - Strategic Planning & IR Manager

* Ralph M. Mesick

First Hawaiian, Inc. - Vice Chairman of Risk Management Group & Chief Risk Officer

* Ravi Mallela

First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer

* Robert S. Harrison

First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Jared David Wesley Shaw

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Analyst

* Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker

Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst

* Luke Simeon Wooten

Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - Associate

* Steven A. Alexopoulos

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD and Head of Mid-Cap & Small-Cap Banks

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the First Hawaiian Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Investor Relations Manager, Mr. Kevin Haseyama, you may begin.

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Kevin Haseyama, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Strategic Planning & IR Manager [2]

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Thank you, Laura, and thank you, everyone, for joining us as we review our financial results for the second quarter in 2019. With me today are Bob Harrison, Chairman and CEO; Eric Yeaman, President and COO; Ravi Mallela, CFO; and Ralph Mesick, Chief Risk Officer.

We have a slide presentation that we will refer to in our remarks today. The presentation is available for downloading and viewing on our website at fhb.com in the Investor Relations section.

During today's call, we will be making forward-looking statements, so please refer to Slide 1 for our safe harbor statement. We will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. The appendix to this presentation contains reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measurements to the most directly comparable GAAP measurements.

And now I'll turn the call over to Bob, who will provide you with the second quarter highlights, starting on Slide 2.

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [3]

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Thank you, Kevin. Aloha, everyone, and thanks for joining us today as we review our second quarter results.

I'm pleased to report that we had a solid quarter driven by excellent credit quality, higher net interest margin and continued prudent expense management. Our profitability measures remained strong with a core return on average tangible assets of 1.5% and a core return on average tangible common equity of just over 18%. We also began executing our share repurchase program, returning about $40 million to shareholders in the second quarter.

Yesterday, our Board of Directors declared a $0.26 per share dividend, representing an attractive annualized dividend yield of 3.99% based on today's closing price.

Now I'll turn it over to Eric to go over the balance sheet.

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Eric K. Yeaman, First Hawaiian, Inc. - President & COO [4]

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Thanks, Bob. Turning to Slide 3. We saw good loan production during the quarter with loan balances ending the quarter at $13.3 billion, up $67 million or 0.5% versus the prior quarter end. Strong production drove a $74.5 million or 2.1% increase in residential loan balances during the quarter.

CRE loans increased by approximately $47 million or 1.5% during the quarter. Construction loan balances decreased by about $46 million or 7.7% due to the completion of several projects as we had anticipated. C&I balances declined by $26 million or 0.8% due to the net payoffs and pay downs in the Mainland Shared National Credit portfolio, and this was partially offset by growth in Hawaii C&I and dealer flooring portfolios. Looking forward, our CRE and residential real estate pipeline looks good, and as a result, we are maintaining our outlook for full year loan growth to be in the mid-single-digit range.

Turning to Slide 4. Deposit balances ended the quarter at $16.8 billion, unchanged from the prior quarter. We saw a couple of commercial accounts continue to draw down the temporary deposits that flowed in at the end of 2018. This amounted to about $260 million. Excluding these outflows, consumer and commercial deposits grew by about $110 million or 0.7% during the quarter, within our expected 2% to 3% full year growth expectations. We saw upward pressure on deposit costs taper off in Q2. As a result, our total cost of deposits increased by only 1 basis points -- basis point versus the prior quarter.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Ravi to cover the income statement.

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [5]

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Thanks, Eric. Turning to Slide 5. Net interest income in the second quarter was $145.6 million, an increase of $0.5 million versus the first quarter and an increase of $4.2 million versus the second quarter of 2018. Net interest income in both the first and second quarters included a $1.8 million negative premium amortization adjustment due to lower interest rates.

The reported net interest margin was 3.25%, a 2 basis point increase from the reported first quarter NIM of 3.23%. The increase was driven by the shift in asset mix as loan growth was funded by a reduction in cash balances. The NIM impact of the premium adjustments was the same in both the first and second quarters, about 4 basis points.

Turning to Slide 6. Noninterest income was $48.8 million, $1.7 million higher than the prior quarter. The first quarter included a $2.6 million loss from the investment portfolio restructuring. Noninterest expenses were $93.3 million, about $700,000 higher than the prior quarter, primarily due to nonrecurring items, partially offset by lower salaries and benefits expenses. Our efficiency ratio in the second quarter was 48%.

In the first half of 2019, we were able to manage expenses below our original outlook. While we will still see increases in the second half of the year, we now expect full year expenses to be lower than our original outlook. We anticipate that expenses in the second half of 2019 will be 1% to 2% higher than the expenses in the first half of the year.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Ralph to cover asset quality.

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Ralph M. Mesick, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Vice Chairman of Risk Management Group & Chief Risk Officer [6]

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Thank you, Ravi. We'd like to turn your attention to Slide 7 in the deck. We continue to enjoy a high level of asset quality. Credit costs remain below our historical average, and our nonperforming assets were minimal at quarter end.

Net charge-offs were $6.9 million for the quarter. On an annualized basis, this amounts to 21 basis points on average loans and leases. This is 3 basis points higher than the prior quarter and 8 basis points higher than the same quarter last year. Total nonperforming assets were $3.9 million or 3 basis points of total loans and leases and other real estate owned. This is flat to the prior quarter and down 8 basis points from the year earlier.

Provision expense was $3.9 million for the second quarter. And the allowance for loan and lease losses decreased $3 million to $138.5 million, which is a 104 basis points of total loans and leases, down 3 basis points versus the prior quarter. The decrease in the provision from the prior quarter was due to lower reserve requirements on our residential mortgage portfolio.

And now I'll turn the call back over to Bob.

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [7]

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Thank you, Ralph. Turning to Slide 8, Hawaii's economy remained healthy in the second quarter. State unemployment rate was 2.8% in June compared to 3.7% nationally. The visitor industry continued to operate at a high level through the first 5 months of the year. Year-to-date through May, visitor arrivals were 4.2 million, up 3.8% from the same period last year, although visitor spending was $7.2 billion, 3.1% lower than the same period last year.

Real estate market remained sound. Prices in Oahu remained stable. We have seen a slight decline in sales volumes compared to the prior year. Looking forward, while there are signs of slowing, the economy continues to operate at a very high level, and overall outlook for Hawaii's economy remains positive.

Before we wrap up, I would like to thank Eric for his leadership and dedication to First Hawaiian Bank. As you saw in the earnings release, Eric informed us that he is resigning from the bank effective August 12. He's made a lasting impact on the organization, formed deep relationships with our teams and customers and will be missed. We wish him continued success in the years ahead.

Now we'd be happy to take your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) We have your first question coming from Steven Alexopoulos with JPMorgan.

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Steven A. Alexopoulos, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD and Head of Mid-Cap & Small-Cap Banks [2]

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Wanted to start on the NIM. Ravi, what do you see as the starting point for the third quarter NIM? Should we see this premium adjustment again?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [3]

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So I think what I'd say is that we typically don't forecast that number. But maybe what I'll do is I'll talk a little bit about the NIM outlook here. And if the Fed cuts rates by 25% at the end of July, we anticipate that the third quarter NIM will be -- will decline by about 4 basis points from the second quarter adjusted NIM of 3.29%. Maybe just provide a little bit of color, Steve, on that. A 25 basis point cut will put downward pressure on our variable rate loan yields. And that's going to be offset by adjusting the rates on our higher deposit -- high beta deposit accounts, such as public deposits. And so as a result, we anticipate that we'd probably see 4 to 5 basis points from the 3.29% adjusted following a 25 basis point rate cut in July.

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Steven A. Alexopoulos, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD and Head of Mid-Cap & Small-Cap Banks [4]

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Okay. That's helpful. And then Ravi, assuming that the Fed continues on a path to cutting, we see 4 to 5 basis points per cut, do you think you could maintain the 48% efficiency ratio target?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [5]

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I mean, we're -- I think it's something we're definitely striving for.

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [6]

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We're looking for 2 rate cuts in this year. So that's something we're very focused on, Steve. As you saw, we're very careful about managing our expenses. But it's hard to look that far ahead on the revenue side as well as the expense side that drives that efficiency ratio.

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Steven A. Alexopoulos, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD and Head of Mid-Cap & Small-Cap Banks [7]

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Right. Okay. And then just finally, the decline in comp expense was more than at least I was looking for. Could you give some color on what drove that so much quarter-over-quarter?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [8]

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Yes. That had to do with sort of higher deferred loan origination fees. And Steve, that was driven by higher levels of loan production. We saw higher mortgage production in the quarter. If you look at the numbers, you saw about a $74 million increase in mortgages for the quarter, and so that's what's really driving that number.

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Operator [9]

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We have your next question from Luke Wooten with KBW.

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Luke Simeon Wooten, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - Associate [10]

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Just wanted to kind of talk about the growth forecast. I know you guys said the mid-single-digit growth for loans. And the deposits kind of coming in a little bit softer this quarter -- or flat this quarter, but then for the rest of the year, you're still seeing the 2% to 3% increases -- for full year?

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [11]

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We're talking about -- Luke, we're talking about deposit growth? Just want to make sure I understand...

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Luke Simeon Wooten, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - Associate [12]

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Yes. Sorry, sorry. Yes, deposit growth for the full year.

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [13]

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Yes. This is Bob. And what we're looking at for that deposit growth, as we've talked about in the past, is our core growth for our consumer book is that 2% to 3%. We do see some volatility on occasion in the commercial side, and we saw that at year-end. And a lot of that's kind of flowed back out. So absent to anything else, we're comfortable with that 2% to 3% growth in kind of the core consumer book.

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Luke Simeon Wooten, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - Associate [14]

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Okay. That's helpful. And then Ravi, you touched on it briefly. Just kind of on deposit costs this quarter, you saw that the pricing was kind of mitigating. Do you see that continuing going forward? Is pricing still kind of being more rational?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [15]

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Yes. I mean, I'd say, we saw the upward pressure on high deposit beta accounts such as public time and commercial and money market accounts sort of taper in Q2. The cost of deposits quarter-over-quarter went up 1 basis points from 56 to 57, and we're very happy with that.

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Luke Simeon Wooten, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - Associate [16]

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Okay. That's helpful. And then what percentage of the total time deposits was public time at the end of the quarter?

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [17]

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As we see -- look on Slide 4, our public time was right about $99 million. Is that -- $990 million. Sorry.

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Operator [18]

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We have your next question coming from Jared Shaw with Wells Fargo Securities.

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Jared David Wesley Shaw, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Analyst [19]

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Just following up on Steve's margin question. You're expecting 2 25 basis points cuts. Is the second cut the same magnitude impact to margin, do you think? Or would that start to maybe accelerate from the variable rate side of the loan portfolio?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [20]

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It's hard to say. I think even though there's quite a few moving parts, obviously, that will depend on what we see from a loan growth perspective going into the end of the year and what our funding needs would be. I think what we've seen this quarter is a very nice tapering of costs. But I think going out to the second rate cut, I think it will depend on a lot of different factors.

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Jared David Wesley Shaw, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Analyst [21]

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Okay. And then on the securities portfolio, what are you -- what's the new purchase yield right now? And are you buying with premium here?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [22]

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This quarter, we really didn't do any major purchases. We might have, I think, swapped out of some very small cusips and rolled ups. So for the future, I don't -- there isn't really too much material information there to give you. It's kind of where it is.

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Jared David Wesley Shaw, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Analyst [23]

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Okay. And then finally from me, just looking at the trends with the Shared National Credit portfolio, should we expect to see that continue to become less of a part of the overall growth rate? Or was that really more just opportunistic moves this quarter?

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [24]

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The quarter -- this is Bob. The quarter just ended. We saw we're down about $100 million, really was just the kind of the normal ebb and flow of that business. We have, over on the Mainland, messaged many times in the past that about 20% of our loan book is in Mainland. And this quarter, we ended up, I think, just about 20.5%. So we're still right in that range.

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Operator [25]

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(Operator Instructions) We have your next question coming from Laurie Hunsicker with Compass Point.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [26]

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Just wondered if we could go back to the public funds. Can you talk a little bit about directionally why you've decided to grow the public time? And what your thought is there, where that line is going?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [27]

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Yes. I would just say this is -- it's probably a combination of things. We look to manage sort of flows in and out. I think what you look -- what you see in the quarter was, Bob mentioned this a little bit in one of his earlier comments, was that we had some outflows from some commercial accounts, and that included some of the surge deposits that we mentioned, I think, in the Q4 call. And some of those went out, and I think part of what we did with the public deposits was to fill some of that gap. The other piece is just when we look at cash management, we tend to fill in maturities, so it doesn't become too lumpy, the maturities of our public deposits. And so part of the sort of increases is just sort of filling out our maturity schedule on that.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [28]

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Okay. Great. And then just, I mean, your core deposits stripping out all your CDs. Linked quarter, your cost was down a basis point, you're at 34 basis point. I mean, you've got an unusual trend that seemingly nobody else has at the moment. Can you just talk a little bit about what you're doing directionally? Your money market came down, your savings came down. I mean, do we continue to see that happen?

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [29]

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Laurie, this is Bob. As we've talked about in the past, we have a fairly rational deposit market, and we're really just reacting to the market forces. I think what we've seen is the rate expectations in the general market have gone down, and now everyone is expecting rate cuts coming up as soon as next week when the Fed meets. I think that has tempered people's expectations. And so we're just really responding to the local market here.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [30]

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Okay. That's great. Just quickly on the income statement, just 2 quick questions. The BOLI looked outsized again this quarter. Was there anything else in that number, the 3.39?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [31]

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Yes, Laurie, this is Ravi. It was down about $400,000 quarter-over-quarter, and it was just really due to rates moving around and nothing specific.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [32]

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Okay. Because I know there was a death benefit last quarter, but then it was also elevated. I just didn't know if there was anything. And then you mentioned in the press release, and I apologize if I'd somehow missed this, but there was round number $700,000 of nonrecurring items in the noninterest expense line. Can you just help me understand what that is?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [33]

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Yes, it came from sort of a lot of different areas. Maybe I'll touch on a few of them, small items. In Q1, we had some airline excise tax settlements that came in that we had in Q1 that didn't show up in Q2. And you know, a little bit of lower ForEx fees, a little bit of lower recoveries, just a lot of little bits and pieces.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [34]

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And so it looks like a lot of that came into your contract service and professional fees line. Is that the majority of the...

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [35]

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Are you -- you're talking about expenses?

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [36]

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Correct.

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [37]

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Yes. So in the contracted piece, yes, we had a maybe a couple of consulting projects that came in, in the quarter.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [38]

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Okay. And then tax rate, how should we be thinking about that?

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Ravi Mallela, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Executive VP of Finance Group, CFO & Treasurer [39]

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I would continue to use 25.5% as our effective tax rate.

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Laurie Katherine Havener Hunsicker, Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, Research Division - MD & Research Analyst [40]

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Okay. Great. And then just the last question. Your buyback. You were super active this quarter, which was great, but you just did in one full swoop 40% of your buyback. Can you just refresh us on how you're thinking about buybacks and a potential buyback reload?

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Robert S. Harrison, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Chairman & CEO [41]

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Yes, Laurie, this is Bob. As we talked about earlier, we have the $100 million approval from the Board for this year, and we got started a little late, we got started after Q1. And so we're just trying to kind of get on track for the year, so we don't have to rush it. Pricing has been good, we feel, for our stock given the market out there, so we just took advantage of it and accelerated a little bit.

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Operator [42]

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(Operator Instructions) I am showing no further questions at this time. I would now like to turn the conference back to Mr. Kevin Haseyama.

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Kevin Haseyama, First Hawaiian, Inc. - Strategic Planning & IR Manager [43]

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Thank you, Laura. We appreciate your interest in First Hawaiian, and please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions. Thanks, again, for joining us, and enjoy the rest of your day.

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Operator [44]

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Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference. Thank you for participation, and have a wonderful day. You may all disconnect.