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Edited Transcript of GWB earnings conference call or presentation 24-Oct-19 12:30pm GMT

Q4 2019 Great Western Bancorp Inc Earnings Call

Sioux Falls Oct 30, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Great Western Bancorp Inc earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 12:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer

* Karlyn M. Knieriem

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Risk Officer

* Kenneth James Karels

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO

* Michael Gough

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - SVP – Credit

* Michael Doyle;Interim Chief Credit Officer

* Peter Chapman

Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Damon Paul DelMonte

Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - SVP and Director

* Ebrahim Huseini Poonawala

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director

* Jeffrey Allen Rulis

D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst

* Jon Glenn Arfstrom

RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - MD

* Nathan James Race

Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - VP & Senior Research Analyst

* Sun Young Lee

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst

* Terence James McEvoy

Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD and Research Analyst

* Timothy O'Brien

Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., Research Division - MD of Equity Research

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning and welcome to Great Western Bancorp's Fourth Quarter and Full Fiscal Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Joining the call this morning is Ken Karels, Chairperson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Doug Bass, Chief Operating Officer; Peter Chapman, Chief Financial Officer; Karlyn Knieriem, Chief Risk Officer; Michael Gough, Senior Vice President, Credit; and Michael Doyle, Interim Chief Credit Officer.

Before getting started, Great Western will like to remind you that today's presentation may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause company actual -- company's actual future results to materially differ from those discussed. Please refer to the forward-looking statement disclosures contained in the presentation on the company's website as well as their periodic SEC filings for a full discussion of the company's risk factors.

Additionally, today, certain non-GAAP financial measures will be discussed on this conference call. References to non-GAAP measures are only provided to assist you in understanding Great Western's results and performance trends and should not be relied upon as a financial measure of actual results.

Reconciliations for such non-GAAP measures are appropriately referenced and included within the presentation. Please note that this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Great Western Bancorp's Chairperson, President, Chief Executive Officer, Ken Karels. Ken, please go ahead.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [2]

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Okay. Good morning, and thank you for joining the call. With this quarter marking the end of our fiscal year, I'd like to point out a few highlights. Net income of $50.3 million is significantly higher than last quarter, mainly due to lower credit-related charges. We have been very proactive in managing our deposit interest costs, with these declining during the quarter, and we will continue to aggressively work these down next year.

Expense control remains strong with our efficiency ratio of 45.8% for the fiscal year. We have continued to execute share buybacks with $20 million in repurchases executed during the quarter and an authorization filed for $75 million more. And for the fiscal year, tangible book value per share has increased 10.5%. Now for more insight in our September quarter financial results, I'd like to turn the call over to our Chief Financial Officer, Peter Chapman. Pete?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [3]

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Thanks, Ken, and good morning, everybody. Looking to revenue, interest income was $139 million (sic) [$140 million] for the quarter, which was a modest increase from the prior quarter. Our net interest margin and our adjusted net interest margin were 3.7% and 3.69%, respectively, for the quarter. The adjusted net interest margin was down 2 basis points quarter-over-quarter, primarily as a result of lower loan and investment portfolio yields, partially offset by a reduction in the total cost of deposits of 5 basis points.

Continued tightening of interest rates by the Fed will pressure NIM. We'll continue to proactively manage deposit costs, but we expect NIM to drift down 2 to 3 basis points per quarter in the current rate environment, consistent with the prior quarter comments.

Noninterest income increased by $4.3 million for the quarter to $15 million. Of the increase, $2.7 million was attributable to lower credit-related charges, $0.7 million attributable to higher derivative swap income, $0.4 million of this increase was due to seasonally stronger mortgage income. The remainder of the increase was due to higher interchange and overdraft NSF fee income for the quarter.

Looking forward, we also expect the acquisition of the Colorado Trust business in October to add approximately $0.5 million a quarter in noninterest income. Noninterest expenses were $55.2 million for the quarter, a decline of $0.8 million. Salaries and benefits declined by $0.8 million, mainly due to the lower variable compensation expense in the final quarter of our fiscal 2019.

Data processing increased by $0.4 million due to a number of annual contracts being renewed in the September quarter, and these were offset by declining professional fees of $0.5 million, mainly due to a lower FDIC assessment during the quarter.

While we continue to be diligent monitoring expenses, we do expect these to increase in the following quarter due to the absence of approximately $2 million in nonrecurring benefits during the current quarter, the addition of the Colorado Trust business and project and investment spend to have the expense run rate more in the $58 million to $59 million range looking forward.

For more now on loan deposit growth, I'll turn over to our Chief Operating Officer, Doug Bass. Doug?

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [4]

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Thanks, Pete, and good morning, everyone. At the end of the September 2019 quarter end, loans were $9.7 billion, which is a decline of $180 million from the prior quarter, which brings full year growth to $291 million or 3.1%. During the quarter, we saw a decline in construction and development balances of $163 million. This was partially offset by a $105 million increase in owner and nonowner-occupied real estate balances. In addition, multifamily real estate balances declined by $49 million. The change in loan balances were driven by the decline in both construction and development and multifamily categories that totaled $212 million. This was a combination of projects being completed and stabilized more quickly than forecast and also the refinancing of existing projects to the secondary market due to more favorable terms and lower interest rates.

De novo offices opened in the last 7 years continued to be a major contributor of growth. For fiscal year '19, those offices contributed $113 million of loan growth over the prior fiscal year-end. Our plans for 2020 are to continue to add both lenders in targeted existing markets as well as consider new locations when market leadership opportunities arise.

Agricultural balances decreased $41 million during the quarter with the decrease driven by the exit of relationships with a higher risk profile. We will continue to see this trend in upcoming quarters as operations self-liquidate and secure financing with other institutions. During the course of fiscal 2020, we will continue to work on exiting loans in all categories with a higher risk profile. This will impact overall loan growth. However, we are placing the improvement of asset quality metrics as a higher priority than overall loan growth. As such, we would expect loan growth to be in the mid- to low single-digit range for fiscal 2020.

Deposits grew $64 million or 0.6% during the quarter. We saw an increase of $71 million in business customer balances and $66 million in brokered and treasury funding as cost-effective alternatives to Federal Home Loan Bank offset by $73 million of seasonal consumer outflows. This brings fiscal year-to-date deposit growth to $567 million or 5.8% over prior fiscal year-end. We also saw the cost of our interest-bearing deposits decline by 7 basis points during the quarter, and we'll continue to move our deposit rates commensurate with declining loan rates to maintain a targeted net interest margin.

Let's turn the call over now to Senior Vice President of Credit, Michael Gough, who will take us through asset quality developments. Michael?

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Michael Gough, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - SVP – Credit [5]

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Thanks, Doug. For the quarter, we have seen more modest credit-related charges than the June 2019 quarter with these being $4.2 million, down from $31.7 million in the prior quarter. Net charge-offs were $7.8 million for the quarter, which is down significantly from $17.5 million in the June 2019 quarter. Of this amount, $5 million was attributable to ag relationships with the remaining $2.8 million spread across a number of smaller non-ag relationships.

Looking at our classifications. Substandard loans have declined by $4 million through the quarter to $472 million with that category largely stable, and Watch loans increased by $185 million to $406 million. Of this increase, $101 million is related to dairy credits and the remaining $84 million was due to a small number of credits in the remainder of the portfolio, the largest of which was a health care facility.

We will cover off the increase in Watch dairy credits along with the dairy update momentarily. With respect to key asset quality ratios, net charge-offs to loans were 31 basis points for the September quarter and 36 basis points for the fiscal year. Our allowance for loan and lease losses as a percentage of total loans is 73 basis points, and our comprehensive credit coverage, which includes credit-related fair value adjustments on our long-term portfolio and purchased accounting marks, is 94 basis points.

I'll now turn over the call to our Chief Risk Officer, Karlyn Knieriem, who also oversees our loan review function and has been involved in overseeing our dairy portfolio for comments on that segment. Karlyn?

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Karlyn M. Knieriem, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Risk Officer [6]

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Thanks, Michael. Last quarter, we saw a number of downgrades based on 12/31 financials. Since our last earnings call, we have received all March and the majority of June quarterly financials for the largest and most complex borrowers. From these financials, operating trends are improving and, in most cases, driven by increases in revenue and apparent cost control. However, we did downgrade a handful of dairy credits totaling $101 million in exposure during the quarter as a result of interim financial results. Milk prices continued to improve in the second quarter, signaling improved profitability. We continue to monitor for opportunities to de-risk this portfolio through selective underwriting guidelines and liquidations. Some borrowers will exit and some will upgrade through the normal course of business.

Overall, we feel with improved profitability in the June quarter and current milk prices, we are comfortable with current levels of provisioning on this portfolio.

With that, let's turn the call back to Ken for some closing remarks.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [7]

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Okay. Thank you, Karlyn. I am pleased overall with our year. We've maintained a strong return on tangible common equity of 15.3% and a return on assets of over 1.3%. While we've had some issues to work through in the dairy and cattle portfolios, we have managed our expense base well and have grown the loan portfolio in a competitive environment. As Doug noted, we are working through some of the substandard relationships in the portfolio, which will lower our loan growth during 2020. But we feel in this environment, improving our asset quality is more important than stretching for loan growth. We will now open up the call for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) And the first question will come from Jeff Rulis of D.A. Davidson.

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Jeffrey Allen Rulis, D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst [2]

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A question on the -- it's really credit related, and I guess, the first part is kind of interested in the harvest and what you're hearing from farmers. You had a late planting season with wet weather and seen some, I guess, some early snow in the Dakotas. So that's part A. And then the second piece is the dairy book, and maybe a follow-up for Karlyn is just, we've seen those prices recover, and yet I think the adjustment on the 6/30 numbers was due to a bottoming of prices then. And we saw that adjustment, but prices have come up. I guess, is it a factor of kind of getting the financials updated? And maybe just walk through a little more on the dairy side as well.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [3]

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Doug, go ahead and talk on the grain probably first here.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [4]

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Yes. Let me -- Jeff, let me hit the harvest question first. I think there were pockets throughout our footprint that had delayed planting or preventative planting in some cases, and we've had generally favorable heat days in the summer that have progressed the crop in a vast majority of cases. Harvest has commenced at varying levels throughout the geography. I think generally speaking, those with preventative plant, we've done some preemptive cash flow analysis and consider a vast majority of the operations to still be able to be on track. And with current grain prices, yield expectations, we see many operations meeting fiscal year '19 budget plans due to yields and revenue, and they've done a -- continue to do an improved job on cost control. So neutral to positive results based on geography.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [5]

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Okay. And then on the dairy, Karlyn maybe, and then...

Well, go ahead, Jeff.

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Jeffrey Allen Rulis, D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst [6]

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One follow-up on the -- and then late -- any weather-related impact late in the season? We've heard some more negative things on snow.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [7]

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Yes. The snow absolutely didn't affect our trade area. It was really probably North part of South Dakota. Most of that's melted already and they're into full production. It's delayed harvests some, but that's coming out pretty quick right now and forecasts for the next couple of weeks look pretty good. So I would say no, other than delayed harvest from a weather standpoint, and the majority of Iowa is moving pretty good.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [8]

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Yes, Iowa and Missouri and Nebraska are very good. And I think the capacity operators pull the crops out much quicker than they used to over the years. Harvest will progress very quickly, as Ken mentioned, over the next couple of weeks, I think, to see favorable results.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [9]

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Then the dairy here.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [10]

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Yes. I'll start here, Jeff, maybe on the dairy piece. And Karlyn, jump in. We've gone through and done a weighted average debt service coverage ratio on the entire portfolio. And to give a couple numbers for Q4 '18, that number was a negative 0.53. Those results, as they came in, reflected in a majority of the downgrades with trailing quarters prior to that also in similar areas. As we then trended to first quarter of 2019, the average return for the portfolio was 0.74 debt coverage. And then as we hit quarter 2 of 2019, that average return is 1.55 on a debt service coverage. So as you indicated, the recovery in milk price, which has gone from the mid-14s up to the mid-16s and trending higher, especially with component pricing that a lot of the dairies benefit from, which takes it to 18 to 21, we're seeing Q3 and forward-looking to be positive reflective of really what we saw in the Q2 results.

The other piece that's out there that is positive is because prices have increased, this has produced opportunities under the USDA revenue guarantee program for a number of the operators to lock in, in excess of 90% of production and for up to 18 months at above breakeven and above positive cash flow thresholds. So the increasing prices are producing options, alternatives to prevent against any near-term declines in milk price as well. So as we take a look at the portfolio, and dairy problem loans that are in the slide deck represent about 57% or $318 million of the total problem loan book. As we have dissected that, we have about 19% of that book that are self-liquidating. We've got about 51% that are in process of refinancing, and we have about 30% of that that we anticipate being upgraded. All of those will take over the next 2 to 3 fiscal quarters. So we would anticipate by sometime mid-2020 that a majority of those results are worked through. Some of them will happen sooner than later. Generally speaking, as you mentioned, Jeff, favorable terms, favorable milk prices and favorable financial results.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [11]

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And Doug, maybe just on those that have liquidated already, we're seeing full pay off for us and no losses, obviously.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [12]

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Yes, we probably had 8 or 9 dairies already self-liquidate in the last 6 to 9 months. And there is significant demand for the herds, and in cases of quota options in several states, those have also come at very favorable prices, and there has been no loss on any of the self-liquidations, and several of them have turned into depositors.

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Operator [13]

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Our next question will come from Jon Arfstrom of RBC Capital Markets.

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Jon Glenn Arfstrom, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - MD [14]

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Can you touch on the other Watch list trends as well in terms of what drove that? And I know maybe resolution is the wrong term, but kind of your expectations for that category.

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Michael Gough, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - SVP – Credit [15]

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The other Watch list trends, Doug just really covered the dairy piece of the increases in the Watch credits. In the other -- the non-dairy segment of Watch, we still look at our book in the other segments compared to peers, the credit metrics, we compare very, very favorably. So I don't think we can point to any larger single common factor among those. I think it's just normal migration of those other credits. Dairy, I think -- I totally agree with Doug's comments on the time line with the prices. We just need to get a number of quarters under our borrower's belt so we can justify getting better ratings on those.

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Jon Glenn Arfstrom, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - MD [16]

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Okay. So the $84 million that you signaled, you're not saying there's anything systemic there. It's just more granular in nature, I guess, is the term.

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Michael Gough, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - SVP – Credit [17]

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I would agree. It's really just a handful of credits in different industries.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [18]

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The only common thread on any, Jon, is going to be health care, as we've seen some challenging reimbursement rates on reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels. And I think a lot of those operations are in processes of adjusting cost and delivery structures to match updated reimbursement rates that have come out from varying states.

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Jon Glenn Arfstrom, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - MD [19]

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Okay. And maybe, Ken or Michael Doyle. Just it seems like you have maybe a little bit more aggressive attack in the next fiscal year on credit. And I guess, if we look ahead to 12 months from now, what kind of goals do you have for working down the nonperformers and some of the substandard balances? Just curious what would be acceptable to you.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [20]

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Well, we haven't really published or quoted those numbers, Jon. But as we said in our comments, we are aggressively putting those -- pushing to get those down. Doug went through the $318 million of dairy credits, and I think there's a very good chance that in 2 or 3 quarters from now, most of that will work out, either payoffs or self-liquidating, or as he mentioned, with debt coverage ratio now up to 1.55 in the second quarter and holding the third quarter and looking favorable with them able to contract milk pricing, we would expect to upgrade many of those. So we really do see this dairy portfolio improving over -- but it's going to take a few quarters. We use a rolling 4-quarter average on it.

So until they wipe out some of those, especially in the fourth quarter of last year, it's going to take a few quarters to get to where they have a rolling 4-quarter positive debt coverage ratio on it, too. But it looks pretty positive right now, and I think the forecast for milk price and what they're doing to lock in gives us more comfort on that part of the portfolio. I would say -- and Mike, you can talk on this, too. On the -- and the rest of the portfolio, we definitely are beefing up our problem workout area with staffing and aggressively getting those worked down. Mike, any comments on it?

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Michael Doyle;Interim Chief Credit Officer, [21]

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I agree with that. We are adding resources to the workout unit selectively, some in ag, some generalists in that area just to address any of the non-ag or non-dairy credits that we're seeing coming in and trying to bring a skill set to that, that I think will be very effective.

In terms of the active identification in the portfolio of risk, we have put in -- there were already processes, before I got here, in place to do so. And I'm just reviewing those to see if there's anything further that we can do to be as proactive as possible in ensuring that we're on top of the portfolio as a whole, not just ag or dairy, but just the whole portfolio. So that's -- we'll continue to try to tweak that and improve that as we go forward.

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Jon Glenn Arfstrom, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - MD [22]

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Okay. And then, Ken, just a last follow-up here. The growth rate commentary in terms of loan growth rate. You're really not saying you're seeing a slowdown in activity in your markets or any kind of material slowdown. It's just more just addressing some of the credits that you may not be as comfortable with. That's the -- really the factor in the growth rate?

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [23]

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Absolutely, Jon. As Doug mentioned, there's approximately a little over $200 million of dairy that's either going to self-liquidate or refinance elsewhere. And so that's a headwind for us, and that will affect growth rate for this next year.

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Operator [24]

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The next question will come from Nathan Race of Piper Jaffray.

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Nathan James Race, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - VP & Senior Research Analyst [25]

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Not to beat a dead horse on the dairy portfolio, but just curious, what would you expect in potential loss content? And within that context, just curious to what extent you have FSA guarantees on some of those credits.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [26]

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Yes. Nate, Doug. There are not FSA guarantees because most of the operations are larger by definition that don't really fit under the FSA guarantee programs relative to loss. And I think, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, the 8 or 9 dairies that have all self-liquidated have -- already have paid us off, and many are sitting as depositors today. A majority of those or, I guess, all of those were probably the smaller, more efficient, less financially viable operations, and they all self-liquidated without impact.

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Nathan James Race, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - VP & Senior Research Analyst [27]

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Understood. That's helpful. And Pete, just going back to the expense guidance. I was scribbling down as you were going through that, but could you kind of just run through your expectations for FY '20?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [28]

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Yes, sure. Increase in run rate to sort of $58 million to $59 million range, Nate. As I mentioned on the call, there's probably a couple of million in one-offs in this quarter. We've added the Colorado Trust group in very early this quarter. So that adds about $300,000 a quarter in expenses. And then on top of that, we know we've got some hires coming through, as Ken has mentioned, around credit and a bit of investment spend. So sort of that $58 million, $59 million range.

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Nathan James Race, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - VP & Senior Research Analyst [29]

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Okay, got it. And then it sounds like -- if I could ask one more on the health care book. I was just curious the size of that. And just any other color on the health care credit that presented an issue here in FY 4Q?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [30]

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Yes. Look, I don't think we've quoted that number specifically, the healthcare book, Nate. It's not an outsized one relative to the loan portfolio. And Doug, I think you could probably comment more on overall quality in that one.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [31]

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Yes, I think what we saw, Nate, was a couple of isolated cases where the states have reduced reimbursement rates and the health care facilities are working to adjust delivery cost models. That's really nothing new. We've had a couple that, that happened to 2 or 3 years ago in other states, and it takes them a period of time to work through delivery cost models to meet and match new reimbursement levels. And we have downgraded a couple as they started through that process until they reach results that are back to traditional, which in both cases, we anticipate they'll do.

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Operator [32]

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The next question will come from Terry McEvoy of Stephens.

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Terence James McEvoy, Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD and Research Analyst [33]

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Pete, a question for you. You said 2 to 3 basis points per quarter of NIM compression. I was wondering if that takes into account a potential rate cut next week. And if you could just talk about additional opportunities to lower deposit costs over the next quarter.

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [34]

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Yes, it does, Terry. We are anticipating a rate cut, and we feel comfortable with that guidance being consistent for the moment, just as we do work those deposits cost down. Obviously, that gets to a point where you run out of room on that. But just given we -- our beta was probably a little higher on the way up, and we feel we've still got some opportunity on the way down. So looking ahead to this quarter, we hope we can continue to manage that. And certainly, we'll just reset expectations, post them over the next quarter once we see how deposit behavior happens. At this point, we have been pretty aggressive. We've not only decreased when the rate decreases come through, we've also decreased mid-quarter, and we haven't seen significant deposit runoffs. So we feel there's a little bit more room to go there.

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Terence James McEvoy, Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD and Research Analyst [35]

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And then just as a follow-up. As outsiders, we really can just track the CME Class III milk prices on a daily basis. And I'm wondering, is there a certain price point where your comfort level on not seeing incremental provisioning or charge-off on dairy potentially changes? I know you talked about farmers proactively managing expenses and liquidating the portfolio. But I'm just trying to get a sense, as an outsider, how we can better monitor potentially that portfolio.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [36]

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Yes, Terry, this is Doug. For second quarter 2019, the Class III milk price was in the low 16s for an average, and our portfolio produced an average debt service coverage ratio of 1.55. In addition to the published Class III price, there are a number of formulas based on the state and the co-op that add blend components to it and component premiums that take it up anywhere from another $1 to $3 above that. But I think if you take a look at Q2 and think low 16s and a 1.55, that's a fairly good correlation.

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Operator [37]

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The next question will come from Ebrahim Poonawala of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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Ebrahim Huseini Poonawala, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [38]

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Just had a couple of follow-up questions. One, in terms of credit, appreciate that you're being proactive in identifying issues. When we think about the outlook for Watch loans, it sounds like the ag numbers should start coming down given the resolution on the dairy front over the next few quarters. What should we anticipate in terms of the non-ag book? Do you expect Watch loans to keep drifting higher or do you think this is -- we played a little bit of a catch-up this year where, all else equal, that number should kind of plateau from here?

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [39]

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Ebrahim, this is Doug. The -- I think one number that we've looked at that's very positive is our asset quality, our non-ag asset quality metrics to peer, which is at or slightly below. And I think everything we're seeing now, we're not seeing industry concentration of problems that come up, we're not seeing geography concentration. It's a diversified challenge when they come up, which tells us there aren't any strong signals today to upcoming problems geographically or industry-wide. We had a couple off on the health care we talked about, but I don't think that's a material impact that we've seen over the entire geography. So I don't see material changes based on everything we know today.

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Ebrahim Huseini Poonawala, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [40]

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Got it. And I guess, just following up on the margin, Pete. So I get the guidance for next quarter. If we get a couple more rate cuts, is that 2 to 3 basis points is the right way to think about what the incremental hit to the margin would be given sort of what you talked about on the deposit side? Or could it be -- could it pick up if we get more than one rate cuts over the next few quarters?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [41]

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Look, I think it's pretty hard to look that far ahead, Ebrahim, at the moment. We hope so. And we're still going to work deposits pretty hard. But certainly, we'll just have to see what happens on the loan front as well. Certainly, we're seeing on the loan front, with spreads over index, if that keeps coming in, that could put a little bit more additional pressure on margin, but doing all we can to help preserve that.

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Ebrahim Huseini Poonawala, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [42]

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Got it. And just one last question, if I may, for Ken. If you could remind us in terms of capital deployment, buybacks. And if there are any sort of bank M&A opportunities in the near-term that you would entertain, would appreciate any update on that.

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [43]

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Yes. Yes, yes, and yes, Ebrahim. We're -- we obviously, as we talked about, did share buybacks this last quarter. We saw quite an opportunity for us to do that. We authorized another $75 million. The bank still earns very -- a lot of money. With lower growth rates are going to be excess capital. So we are looking, as we always do, on some acquisitions, especially if there's some deposit-rich -- low-deposit cost-rich type of acquisitions we can do. And so if that happens, that would be our first choice to use excess capital. If that doesn't happen, we definitely will be back in the share buyback over the next year.

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Operator [44]

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The next question will come from Tim O'Brien of Sandler O'Neill and Partners.

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Timothy O'Brien, Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., Research Division - MD of Equity Research [45]

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A quick follow-up for Pete on operating expenses. So the total onetimes, that $58 million to $59 million that you guys indicated, you expect starting in the fourth quarter. How much in onetimes is included in that? And are there seasonal factors as well given the start of the new fiscal year?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [46]

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No, that's run rate. There's no real one-offs in that number, Tim. I'd expect that to be run rate. And then in calendar Q1, so for the March quarter, that's when our year-end merits kick up. So we may see a modest increase when that comes through as well, but certainly a manageable increase.

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Timothy O'Brien, Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., Research Division - MD of Equity Research [47]

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And then beyond that, with the start of the new fiscal year strategic planning, do you guys have any thoughts on opening de novo branches or something this year, in the new year, or maybe doing some rationalization initiative?

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [48]

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Tim, Doug. On -- to both of your questions on the rationalization, we go through that process on an annualized basis and take a look at opportunities for improvement in efficiency and staffing metrics. So yes, we do that and have -- we'll continue to do that on an annual basis. Relative to new offices, we have a couple on the drawing board. We have staff that are in play that have already been working for us for about 6 to 9 months on one office. We're not ready to announce specifically on any location yet, and we have a couple other recruitment efforts on new locations in existing states that we're looking at as well.

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Operator [49]

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The next question will come from Damon DelMonte of KBW.

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Damon Paul DelMonte, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - SVP and Director [50]

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My question, I'll probably direct it towards Pete on this one. Could you help us think about provision expense a little bit with the work-off of the dairy and other ag-related loans, problem loans kind of impacting your overall outlook for growth? How should we think about the provision going forward?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [51]

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Yes, that's a good question. Damon, obviously, we're a bit light this quarter. But certainly, I think in the past, we've sort of run around this sort of $7 million to $9 million a quarter in credit-related charges. So look, I think that's a good starting point to think about provisioning.

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Damon Paul DelMonte, Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division - SVP and Director [52]

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Okay. All right. And then if I squeeze one more in here. Just on fee income, if you look at the non-swap-related impacts, you're probably like around some $16.5 million this quarter. How do you see that projecting out as we go through fiscal 2020?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [53]

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Yes. Look, I think that's a pretty good average. And then, as I mentioned, about $0.5 million a quarter up as a result of the Colorado Trust acquisition. We integrated that on the first day of this quarter. So there was no benefit of that in this current quarter, but you'll see the full benefit next quarter, Damon.

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Operator [54]

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The next question will come from Janet Lee of JPMorgan.

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Sun Young Lee, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [55]

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I want to ask a first question about non-dairy ag portfolio. So during the quarter, several companies, some of your peers with ag exposure pointed to broad-based market stress in the ag sector, some of that tied to like trade war talk adversely impacting beef and grain, fruits and vegetables. So are you hearing anything from your clients of this issue?

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [56]

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Janet, we heard about half your question here for some reason. Can you just repeat it?

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Sun Young Lee, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [57]

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Yes, sure. Is this better?

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Kenneth James Karels, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [58]

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Yes.

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Sun Young Lee, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [59]

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Okay. So my question is on non-dairy ag portfolio. So during the third quarter, several companies, some of your peers with ag exposure pointed to broader -- broad-based market stress in the ag portfolio. Some of that was tied to trade war talk adversely impacting some fruits and vegetables, beef and grain. Wanted to see if you're hearing anything of this issue from your farmers.

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Douglas Bass;President & Chief Operating Officer, [60]

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Janet, this is Doug. Really, relative to the non-dairy, it would be no. We just actually saw a report on some of the vegetable operations a couple of weeks ago out of our Southwest markets that were all very, very favorable relative to contracts that were -- production that will happen here through the winter months. So that was all very positive on the vegetable front.

Relative to sort of Midwest grain. Again, most of grain prices and yields are going to correlate to at or above '19 budget projections and do not anticipate any material negatives coming up based on harvest expectations and prices that have been locked in. And there have been tariff payments that have come out, and I think those were received starting in October, which has been an added bonus on the flip side to a lot of the operations.

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Sun Young Lee, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [61]

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All right. That's helpful. And just to clarify on your NIM guidance. On your NIM guidance, which pointed to a decline of 2 to 3 bps per quarter. Given the move in average fed funds rate, which is likely to be much bigger in 4Q versus 3Q, I mean, that's in terms of calendar year, like does a 2 to 3 bps decline quarter apply to 4Q? Or is it more of the guidance beyond 4Q after the expected rate cut in October?

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Peter Chapman, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. - Executive VP & CFO [62]

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We expect that rate cut in this quarter. So that's guidance for the current quarter, Janet. After that, we'll just have to look at how deposit competition is going and how far down we can work that in subsequent quarters.

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Operator [63]

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This concludes our question-and-answer session. The conference has now concluded. Thank you for attending today's presentation. You may now disconnect.